Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Visa Joins BlackBerry Mobile Phone Payment Technology

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Visa Joins BlackBerry Mobile Phone Payment Technology

Article excerpt

Visa OKs RIM's mobile payment technology


TORONTO - BlackBerry users will soon be able to charge purchases at the cash register to their Visa cards using technology implanted in the company's new smartphone models.

Research In Motion said Wednesday that Visa has given the green light for its credit card system to work using the smartphone maker's encrypted mobile payment technology. The payment method securely links BlackBerrys to bank accounts and credit cards.

The announcement makes RIM a prominent player in the growing market for mobile payments, which is still in its infancy.

RIM's payment technology lets customers use their smartphones like bank cards. They can pay for items by holding it up to a sales terminal, which makes it identical to the chip that's implanted in most credit cards.

"Any place you can tap your credit card you can now tap your mobile phone," Geoffrey MacGillivray, manager of services security and payments at RIM, said in an interview.

Visa's approval builds on a partnership between RIM and Canada's three biggest wireless networks through their EnStream joint venture, which is also part of the security infrastructure that would make the payment method work at checkouts.

Under the EnStream agreement, RIM will manage security credentials for SIM cards in BlackBerrys and devices running both Google's Android and Windows operating systems.

Visa's announcement also opens the door for other credit card companies to partner with RIM, though MacGillivray said those negotiations are still underway.

Shares of RIM rose 2.94 per cent on Wednesday afternoon, or 42 cents, to $14.69 on the Toronto Stock Exchange, coming off a six per cent gain earlier in the session.

The jump follows two days of big gains for the stock, which closed at $11.79 last Thursday.

Visa's approval comes as RIM puts the finishing touches on the unveiling of its new BlackBerry smartphone models on Jan. …

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