They're launching the Olympics and Paralympics Games mobile handset in London that will use Visa's payment application and a Visa SIM card

Samsung and Visa announced yesterday that they would join forces to provide NFC technology during the London 2012 Olympics with an Olympics and Paralympics Games mobile handset.  

Near field communication, or NFC technology, is a set of short-range, wireless technologies that allows mobile devices to interact with specialized readers in order to make everyday payments. This technology provides a way for mobile users to pay for items in a store by simply tapping their phone on a specialized reader at the cash register. 

It makes sense that Samsung and Visa would agree to a partnership in this NFC venture, considering they both have some experience with the technology. For instance, Google equipped Samsung's Nexus S with NFC support and plans to test this NFC technology in New York and San Francisco over the next four months. Visa, on the other hand, has started NFC trials in Europe using the iPhone. 

Now, Visa and Samsung plan to offer the NFC mobile payment service before, during and after the Olympics. They're launching the Olympics and Paralympics Games mobile handset in London that will use Visa's payment application and a Visa SIM card. When a user is ready to make a purchase, they simply open the Visa payment application and hold the phone in front of a special reader at the register. 

This system will initially be made available to Visa and Samsung sponsored athletes in the London 2012 Olympics, and to those in the United Kingdom. Currently, there are 60,000 contactless readers in London alone, making the NFC-enabled devices a perfect fit for the area. According to Seokpil Kim, President and CEO of Samsung Electronics Europe, both companies would like to eventually "expand the service to other countries in Europe and around the world."

Both Samsung and Visa have shown great enthusiasm in working together, and look forward to next year's Olympic Games.  

"Visa, like Samsung, shares the vision of leveraging our Olympic and Paralympic Games sponsorship to leave a lasting legacy in the market for banks, retailers, mobile operators and consumers," said Peter Ayliffe, CEO of Visa Europe. "We are not only breaking new ground for Olympic partnerships, we are committed to enabling consumers to connect with mobile and contactless payments technology for 2012 and beyond. We look forward to working with financial institutions and mobile operators alongside Samsung to make this initiative a success."

Kim also added that the Olympics will be the perfect place to show off the new system and put mobile payments on the map.

"As a pioneer in mobile technology, Samsung is striving for long term change in the way we use mobile payments," said Kim. "In London next year, we regard the greatest show on Earth as the perfect opportunity to showcase how this technology can make a positive difference to people's lives - enabling them to feel closer to the Olympic and Paralympic Games. This mobile payment device will be made available in the UK initially, and we plan to expand the service to other countries in Europe and around the world where contactless payment facilities are available in the near future."

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