Its official now - Visa plans to turn your iPhone into a credit card. The company has tied up with DeviceFidelity, a mobile payment technology firm to create the In2Pay protective case for iPhone 3G and iPhone 3GS that turns your handset into a credit card. Visa already has a PayWave contactless payment service which lets your credit card interact with the scanner without requiring a physical swipe.
The proposed In2Pay iPhone case has a removable MicroSD card that stores and transmits your credit card information. Payments are activated through a password protected iPhone application. Once activated, you can use your iPhone (instead of your credit card) at any Visa contactless payment establishment. Apple has decided to embed the NFC technology into the MicroSD card in order to avoid cross-platform incompatibility issues.
The concept of contactless transactions has been around for a while now. However, it’s been mainly restricted to credit cards with smart chips. This announcement by Visa is bound to impact billions of users all around the globe as Visa is the most popular credit card company and iPhone is undoubtedly the most popular smartphone in the world. While it’s a win-win situation for both Visa and Apple, it is also bound to ease the life for customers who no longer have to carry credit cards while shopping and traveling.
This technology has massive potential as highlighted in this promotional video.
As mobile phones go smarter, mobile payments are becoming very popular worldwide. Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey recently started a new company Square, which offers a new mobile payment service that uses a small credit card reader a user carries with them along with an iPhone application to make credit card payments. Visa has gone a step further and you do not even need a credit card reader (no matter how small or how big) to enable payments through your iPhone.
Visa is scheduled to start In2Pay trials during the second quarter of 2010. There’s no official word yet on the pricing and availability of In2Pay. Sounds exciting, what do you think?