This week, Research In Motion announced the BlackBerry BoldTM 9900 and BlackBerry CurveTM 9360 smartphones are the first SIM-based NFC smartphones to be certified by MasterCard Worldwide as PayPass-approved devices.
According to a press release from RIM, the certification “was granted on the basis of the BlackBerry smartphones meeting the functionality, interoperability and security requirements of MasterCard.”
What does it all mean? With this certification, any MasterCard PayPass-issuing bank globally will be able to deploy MasterCard PayPass-enabled accounts to the SIM card of these smartphones.
“MasterCard is proud to be the first to certify these popular BlackBerry smartphones for mobile payments, and offer consumers another simple, easy, safe and convenient way to pay. In card payments, MasterCard has long been a leader in the testing and certification of products – for the benefit of customers, issuers, merchants and acquirers. We are delighted to extend this leadership role into the mobile payments arena and applaud RIM’s efforts to usher in the next phase of NFC adoption by delivering compliant devices to the market,” says Mung Ki Woo, Group Executive, Mobile at MasterCard Worldwide. “The availability of NFC on popular BlackBerry smartphones is an important milestone for the mobile contactless payments business.”
The ecosystem to allow customers to take advantage of the certified BlackBerry smartphones for NFC payments is already growing. France Telecom – Orange believes that mobile NFC has the potential to enable a new revolution in mobile by further connecting people’s mobile digital world with the physical world around them. France Telecom – Orange is the first operator worldwide to have commercial NFC launches in two countries, UK and France, with trials in several European markets.
“We are happy to offer the BlackBerry Bold 9900 and BlackBerry Curve 9360 as part of the Orange range of mobile NFC devices. We are committed to actively marketing NFC devices, and these new smartphones will help accelerate the adoption of mobile NFC services secured by an Orange SIM, including mobile payments,” says Vincent Barnaud, Director of Contactless Services at France Telecom – Orange. “We have a strong partnership with RIM, and look forward to working together on more NFC initiatives in the future.”