Research In Motion and Spain’s Telefónica Digital have entered into a pilot program for the Telefónica Wallet, exclusively for BlackBerry smartphones.
The wallet works in collaboration with local banks and retailers, and will be rolled out to 350 employees who use Blackberries at its headquarters in Distrito Telefónica, Spain.
The pilot will allow users to make payments by simply tapping their NFC-enabled BlackBerry smartphone against a reader. Users in the test run will also be allowed to use their Blackberries as a security card in order to gain access to the building.
“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. 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,” said Matthew Key, Chairman & CEO Telefónica Digital.
“RIM is committed to supporting the advancement of NFC and its many applications in the market. We have a strong partnership with Telefónica 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,” explained Jim Balsillie, Co-CEO at RIM.
The Telefónica 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.
There has been no confirmation when Research In Motion will be conducting field test for NFC in South Africa.
Charlie Fripp – Consumer Tech editor