Samsung VISA and NFC confirm partnership for Olympics 2011 phone

Oct 6, 2011
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All the way back in April if 2011 we first heard of the possibility of a Samsung / VISA device running with an NFC chip to assure it of widespread use. Now it's October, just 295 days to go until the actual Olympics 2012 events in London, and VISA has confirmed that the device is, indeed, on track to be released in advance (how early yet we still do not know) of the games come next year. This device is set to be widely adopted (in other words, inexpensive) and will be promoted as an Olympics games "must have" device.

So you've got these Olympic games, right? And you've got a device that we must assume has a camera somewhere on it - and NFC for mobile payments. You know what that means? It means that these games are set to be the most socially shared and easily payed-for Olympics of all time! That is, if all goes according to plan. Pocket Lint's Stuart Miles was at the VISA Europe presentation at the company's first European security summit in Frankfurt, Germany - there it was Sandra Alzetta, Head of innovation and new product development at Visa Europe that confirmed the phone to be entirely on-track.

This device will be a brand new Samsung device, it'll have "Special Olympic content", and it'll be commercially available globally before, during, and after the actual London events in 2012. In addition, VISA has mentioned the possibility that NFC-laden microSD cards might be in the works as well - though whether for this event or outside this event is still unclear. What is clear is that VISA has confirmed that this phone will be working with "almost 160,000 terminals in Europe, including the 70,000 shops, bars, and restaurants in the UK."

Sounds like a widespread winner to me - now they just have to sell it! Note that the image above also comes from the initial announcement in which VISA and Samsung reps are holding up devices that very much appear to be "Galaxy" related, this leading us to believe that Android will be in the mix - or maybe it's Bada?! That'd be a pretty good tactic to get that OS out there, boy howdy.


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