The television adverts state that the service will be 'launching by December 2013, on compatible handsets', while Visa's promotional website states that it will be 'launching in December 2013'. A request has been made to Visa for clarification.
Visa have been testing NFC-enabled mobile payments in the UK for a significant amount of time, with the most notable of these tests being at the 2012 London Olympics. Athletes and Visa partners were provied with Galaxy S3 devices capable of making payments at many locations through the use of a beta version of the Visa Mobile Wallet application and a special SIM-based NFC secure element.
Since then, Visa have announced partnerships with a number of companies, with perhaps the most significant of these being with Samsung, who have agreed to preload Visa's PayWave applet into the embedded secure elements of select devices such as the best-selling Galaxy S4. This would allow users to make NFC payments without having to wait for their network operator to enable payments via a SIM card.
The new adverts mainly feature Samsung devices in demonstrations, meaning that it would be logical to assume that the Samsung Galaxy S4 will be one of the supported devices for Visa's UK NFC payments at launch. An iPhone equipped with an iCarte NFC case is also shown, making it possible that Visa will be expanding their partnership with NatWest for iPhone NFC payments.
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