Those taking part in the trial will be able to make payments in a simple, easy, safe and convenient way by simply tapping their NFC-enabled BlackBerry smartphone against a reader. Employees that are part of the NFC pilot project will also be able use their BlackBerry smartphone (in lieu of a security card) to gain physical access to the Telefonica headquarters office.
The Telefonica Wallet for BlackBerry currently supports the following NFC-enabled smartphones: BlackBerry Bold 9900, BlackBerry Curve 9360 and BlackBerry Curve 9380, all of which run the new BlackBerry 7 operating system.
According to Julio Linares, COO from Telefonica, S.A., "We have chosen the BlackBerry solution for this pilot because of the security that the platform brings," He continued: "RIM’s participation has been key for this pilot project, and we are now planning to extend the project to more and more Telefonica employees around the world."
"We are getting ever closer to the point where our customers will be able to take the contents of their wallets and put them on their mobiles," said Matthew Key, Chairman & CEO Telefonica Digital. "Trials such as this are important to ensuring a great customer experience and we look forward to seeing the launch of commercial wallet services in several markets next year."
"RIM is committed to supporting the advancement of NFC and its many applications in the market," explained Jim Balsillie, Co-CEO at RIM. "We have a strong partnership with Telefonica Group and we are very proud to participate in this important pilot, which allows people to use their BlackBerry smartphone in place of separate physical cards for mobile payments and building access."
The Telefonica Wallet for BlackBerry makes use of SIM-based NFC capabilities, offering a simple interface for managing cards. The application replicates a physical wallet, showing the different cards available to the user. Once the user has selected a card, they are offered a range of options including making transactions, getting account balances, receiving confirmations from the bank.
Additional partners participating in the pilot include banking and financial institutions, retail and food stores, gas stations and others.
BlackBerry smartphones offer a secure environment for NFC payments. The BlackBerry Bold 9900 and Curve 9360 smartphones have already received certification for NFC payments and are compatible with the UICC/SWP protocol which, when used with Telefonica SIM cards, provides a secure platform for NFC use.
Telefonica is one of the largest telecommunications companies in the world in terms of market capitalisation. Its activities are centred mainly on the fixed and mobile telecommunications businesses with broadband as the key tool for the development of both. The company has a customer base of more than 300 million customers around the world. Telefonica has a strong presence in Europe and Latin America, where the company focuses an important part of its growth strategy. Telefonica is a 100% listed company, with more than 1.5 million direct shareholders. Its shares are traded on the London, New York, Lima, Buenos Aires, Madrid and Sao Paulo stock exchanges. Telefonica Multinational Solutions delivers integrated Fixed, Mobile and IT services to some of the world’s top Multinationals. [November 24, 2011]
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