RIM’s BlackBerry smartphones get Visa approval for mobile payments

It may be temporary, but for the moment Research in Motion and its BlackBerry smartphones have an advantage in the soon to be hot mobile payment market.

RIM announced today that Visa has approved its Secure Element Manager (SEM) solution for near field communications (NFC). SEM is the RIM-developed backend solution that carriers will use to securely manage credentials on a phone’s SIM (subscriber identity module) card, in conjunction with NFC, it will allow consumers to make small purchases (say, a beverage from a pop machine) from their phone and have it charged directly to their credit card.

“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, senior director of NFC services and TSM product management at RIM, in a statement. “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 Bold 9990 was among the first smartphones with NFC.

Apple decided last year to not include NFC support in the iPhone 5, but Android handset developers such as Samsung, Nokia and HTC are all embracing it and developing their own mobile payment solutions.

Source | Research in Motion

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Jeff Jedras
Jeff Jedras
A veteran technology and business journalist, Jeff Jedras began his career in technology journalism in the late 1990s, covering the booming (and later busting) Ottawa technology sector for Silicon Valley North and the Ottawa Business Journal, as well as everything from municipal politics to real estate. He later covered the technology scene in Vancouver before joining IT World Canada in Toronto in 2005, covering enterprise IT for ComputerWorld Canada. He would go on to cover the channel as an assistant editor with CDN. His writing has appeared in the Vancouver Sun, the Ottawa Citizen and a wide range of industry trade publications.

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