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DeviceFidelity and Visa release proof of concept contactless payment system for iPhone

  • By Timothy Roberts
  • Tuesday, May 25, 2010

In the grand tradition of “if it doesn’t do it, lets MacGyver it until does”, the team at DeviceFidelity have turned an iPhone into a contactless swipe card payment system.

The key is in their microSD technology – by placing a Near Field Communications chip (NFC – essentially a very low powered radio to allow computers to talk to each other over very short distances) inside a microSD card, a mobile device can be programmed to act as a payment device. Using the Visa payWave system there’s compatibility with vendors across America.

Sharp eyed iPhone users will have spotted the Apple device is missing a vital expansion slot to make this work, namely a microSD card slot… which is where the In2Pay Case comes into play (reports Mobile Crunch)

It’s a sleeve for the iPhone (similar to the third party external batteries available) which uses the dock connector at the base of the machine to allow the smartphone to talk to the payWave hardware.

This is a good entrepreneurial step for three reasons. It shows other start-ups that Visa (and their ilk) will work with smaller companies, and allow them access to an existing network and reducing any initial investment cost… start-ups can hook into that network and not have to work about setting up payment stations in their local coffee shops;

And it gets the consumers thinking about mobile payments from their mobile phones, which can only be a good thing.


Contributed by Ewan Spence