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RIM Receives Mobile Payment Approval from Visa

By Ada Arinze

Here is another reason to buy a Blackberry if you were still dithering- recently, Research in Motion (RIM) has announced that its Secure Element Manager (SEM) solution for NFC (Near Field Communication) mobile payments have been approved by Visa. This approval was granted on January 16th 2013.  RIM’s SEM is the backend solution for carriers that can securely manage credentials on SIM (subscriber identity module) cards installed in all types of NFC-capable mobile devices.

What does this mean for (future) Blackberry users? That the new RIM payment technology would now enable customers use their smartphones like bank cards. One can pay for items by simply holding their phone up to a sales terminal, into which is chip identical to the chip that is implanted in most credit cards. Basically, “Anyplace you can tap your credit card you can now tap your mobile phone,” elaborated Geoffrey MacGillivray, manager of services security and payments at RIM, at an interview.

“The approval from Visa of RIM’s SEM solution is an important step in that it will enable carriers to support Visa issuing banks and financial institutions,” said Frank Maduri, Senior Director, NFC Services and TSM Product Management at RIM. “We now offer carriers a robust solution with around-the-clock global support that works on any NFC-capable device, and meets the stringent technology and usability guidelines for Visa.”

This upgrade does well to buttress RIM place as a prominent player in the growing market for mobile payments, which is a project still in its infancy. “RIM’s success in gaining Visa’s formal approval as secure element manager is a crucial step in expanding RIM’s role as a key security partner for mobile payment solutions around the globe,” said Andy Castonguay, Principal Analyst, at Informa Telecoms & Media. “RIM’s secure network operations center provides a unique combination of global geographic reach, and has established trusted relationships with hundreds of carriers around the world with an unparalleled reputation for security, which sets RIM apart as an SEM partner in the growing mobile payments space.”

With the company set to unveil its new flagship smartphone in 10 days, this seems like welcoming stock boosting news. Shares of RIM rose from 42 cents to $14.69 on the Toronto Stock Exchange, coming off on a six percent gain, on Wednesday- the day after this approval was released.

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