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Visa launches over-the-air provisioning of payment data for NFC phones

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Visa has launched a new service to transmit payment data to NFC-capable mobile devices at MWC.

NFC Contactless Payments reciever (1020)
NFC Contactless Payments reciever (1020)

Visa is announcing a new service at MWC today that provides banks and mobile operators with a way to securely deliver payment account information to NFC-capable mobile devices. If that sounds remarkably familiar, then that's probably because this is very similar to the service that MasterCard offers to Google Wallet users. The service will allow Visa customers to link their payment cards to a "Visa-compliant handset," with a passcode used to authenticate the user and prevent fraud. Once your handset is linked, the system will work anywhere where Visa's payWave contactless cards are accepted.

The system opens up wider possibilities than just payment, though — Visa says that the service will be open to other providers too, which means that transport providers will be able to link their contactless tickets (like Transport for London's Oyster Card) up to the service. Despite the potential, the only partner that Visa's ready to announce is Intel, who has said that it will offer the provisioning service as part of its Medfield platform — potentially including the Orange Santa Clara which is due later this year. Hopefully Visa can avoid the security flaws that have dogged MasterCard's system.