Visa, Nokia Team in Contactless Payment Deal

In the ongoing movement by both credit card companies and mobile phone manufacturers to turn cellular phones into virtual wallets, Nokia and Visa announced a deal Tuesday which would create a global payment system.

Like other planned offerings, this latest platform would use Near-Field Communication (NFC) to send payment data to the retailer. With a push of a button, the user could pay for groceries or other purchases.

In a addition, the system could be used for remote payments, payments from one user to another, and to receive and redeem paperless coupons. Administration of the user's account would be possible through the cell phone.

At first, the system would only allow for contactless payment and coupons. However, future versions would enable person-to-person and remote payments.

"Visa has long realized the importance of the mobile channel to the future of payments and as a medium to deliver consumer services," Visa innovation senior vice president Patrick Gauthier said. "The launch of the mobile platform is a significant industry milestone because it will enable innovative trials and go-to-market strategies for mobile payment services globally."

To coincide with the announcement, Nokia has released the 6131, which is equipped with NFC. In addition, the phone includes a 1.3-megapixel digital camera, Bluetooth, microSD card support, and an FM radio.

The phone would be available in select markets this quarter at an unsubsidized price of $340 USD.

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