U.S.: Wells Fargo Launches microSD Card Trial with Employees
One of at least four pilots Visa Inc. is running with big U.S. banks, Wells Fargo is handing out 200 of the contactless microSD cards storing a Visa payWave application to employees with certain BlackBerry models, as well as iPhones. The iPhone requires a contactless sleeve or case with a microSD slot. The employees will be able to choose to have one Wells Fargo credit and one debit application stored on the cards and will be able to access the applications through the bank's mobile-banking app on the handsets, according to an announcement. They will then be able to tap for low-value transactions wherever payWave is accepted.
Wells Fargo joins Bank of America, U.S. Bank and JPMorgan Chase in trialing contactless microSDs with Visa and the latter's payWave application. Visa and big U.S. banks have been anxious for products that would enable them to introduce contactless-mobile payment without involving U.S. mobile operators–which are planning their own NFC-payment scheme. Visa in December 2010 certified the DeviceFidelity microSD cards for use with the iPhone 4 and two previous iPhone models, along with the special cases for these models, as well as the BlackBerry Bold 9650 and Samsung Vibrant Galaxy S. The Well Fargo trial, which was disclosed earlier, is rather modest, involving only 200 employees. One or more Visa Europe banks are also planning to trial the In2Pay microSD from U.S.-based DeviceFidelity. Visa and Visa Europe also are expected to trial an iPhone attachment from Canada-based Wireless Dynamics. Well Fargo also held an internal NFC trial in 2007.
* Trusted Service Manager: Defined loosely to include companies or other organizations securely distributing, provisioning and managing applications, generally over the air, on secure elements in NFC mobile phones; or licensing their platforms for this purpose.
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Last update: Dec. 2010