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Visa Approves RIM’s Secure Element for Payments

Visa has approved Research in Motion’s method for handling secure mobile payments. This is an important step in developing support for BlackBerry’s ability to enable NFC-based payments.

From the Montreal Gazette:

“The approval from Visa of RIM’s SEM solution is an important step in that it will enable carriers to support Visa issuing banks and financial institutions,” said Frank Maduri, a RIM senior director responsible for mobile payment services. We now offer carriers a robust solution with around-the-clock global support that works on any NFC-capable device, and meets the stringent technology and usability guidelines for Visa.”
RIM’s BlackBerry smartphones already have established a reputation for secure mobile telecommunications as military, law enforcement, and business personnel use them worldwide. While RIM has lost significant market share to Apple and Android-based phones, the hope is that its reputation for security will help it grow as consumers begin to use their phones as a payment mechanism.

Visa’s approval, however, does not guarantee mobile payment success. Much more significant is RIM’s relationship with EnStream, an Isis-like joint venture among three of Canada’s major telecoms. Whereas Google is competing with Isis in the U.S., EnStream uses the BlackBerry technology to enable its payments solution. This cooperation will encourage mobile payments to spread much more quickly. That said, RIM can expect to face the same resistance as Google if and when they try to expand into the U.S. market.

Click here to read more from the Montreal Gazette.

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