We should all be used to the fact that whenever a large scale sporting event happens somewhere in the world, a string of companies strike deals with the organizers to to be able to call themselves ‘official sponsors’ of the event, or name one of their products as the official drink or chewing gum.
With the 2012 Olympic games fast approaching in London, this year seems to be no different with Samsung jumping onto the sponsorship bandwagon and getting their newly released Galaxy S III smartphone named as the event’s official phone. The deal doesn’t just take the mantle as the official smartphone of the Olympic and Paralympic games, but will also see a special edition version of the handset released which will come equipped with Visa payWave contactless payments.
But before you get all excited and hold back from your purchase of Samsung’s latest mobile powerhouse, the limited edition version of the S III will not be available to any random Joe Bloggs, finding itself reserved purely for athletes that happen to be sponsored by Visa as well as service trialists. Those who are fortunate enough to qualify for one of the devices will be able to use the handset, which will come pre-installed with an app to pay for services and items with a simple swipe.
The payment system works by holding the device near a payment terminal that is NFC-enabled. Transactions that exceed the $32 amount will require the user to enter a security passcode into the app in a similar fashion to entering a credit or debit card pin code into a chip and pin machine. Apart from the security features, the installed app will also have the ability to display a historical view of transactions and the remaining account balance.
With NFC technology starting to make an impact in the mobile and payments industry, Bill Gajda, Global Head of Mobile Products at Visa, had this to say about the Samsung collaboration:
The GALAXY S III with NFC technology is part of an evolution that will entirely change the way people shop, pay and get paid all over the world. This summer we will be demonstrating the future of payments in London – a future where most consumers will rely on mobile devices, tablets and PCs to manage their daily financial lives. Our relationship with Samsung gets us closer to that vision, with a stunning new device that is sure to turn heads at the London 2012 Games.
With the standard version of the Samsung Galaxy S III also being NFC-enabled, it will interesting to see when information on payment deals start to filter through.