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BlackBerry Bold 9900 and Curve 9360 get MasterCard certification for mobile payments

RIM BlackBerry Bold 9900
RIM BlackBerry Bold 9900

RIM has an even bigger NFC announcement than the one it made earlier in the month — owners of the BlackBerry Bold 9900 and BlackBerry Curve 9360 will soon be able to use their phones to make payments on the go. MasterCard and RIM announced that these devices meet the requirements to gain PayPass certification, which means that any bank issuing MasterCard PayPass can tie an account to a user's SIM, letting that user make mobile payments wherever PayPass is accepted. Of course, this is dependent on carrier support — Etisalat in the United Arab Emirates has already announced a partnership with MasterCard PayPass, and Orange France has committed to offering these devices as part of its NFC-capable lineup.

While the Nexus S 4G from Sprint supports Google Wallet and PayPass in the US, RIM's certification brings a few potential advantages. These BlackBerrys will be the first PayPass-certified devices with SIM cards, allowing the user's account to be switched easily between devices (once more are supported, of course). Additionally, Citibank is currently the only bank issuing PayPass-eligible MasterCard accounts for Google Wallet, while RIM's devices can draw from a much wider pool of banks. While the banking agreements are in place, neither RIM nor MasterCard has fully outlined when and how these services will be activated, or how much they might cost.