Visa’s very own NFC software is about to hit the mobile market, and with Visa being a well-established, world-recognized brand, it’s no surprise to see the company has found a mutually beneficial deal with Samsung to implement the software into a fleet of Samsung smartphones. First up for some Visa NFC treatment will be the eagerly-anticipated Galaxy S IV, which is set for announcement in New York next month, on March 14th.
NFC has been around for a while, with many smartphones now offering the necessary hardware as a standard feature. But with Visa now throwing itself into proceedings, we could really begin to see NFC utilized on a wide scale. The S IV is easily the most anticipated, most celebrated Android smartphone release this year, and the deal makes the Korean electronics giant Visa’s first global NFC partner.
Visa’s NFC payment software will be bundled with the upcoming device to start off with, and once the fanfare of the latest Galaxy has died down, other devices at the mid to high-end of the market will also be treated to Visa’s utility as standard. The deal between Visa and Samsung means we’ll be seeing at least 100 million NFC-enabled devices from the Galaxy Note II maker over the next year, but it is not exclusive for either party involved.
Both Samsung and Visa are free to strike deals with other companies, but from Visa’s point of view, securing Samsung first has definitely been a good bit of business. The South Korean giant accounts for 40% of all Android handsets, with other companies struggling to keep up, hence it won’t be too difficult for Samsung to make good on its promise of 100 million Visa-enabled handsets in the next twelve months.
Speaking with TechCrunch, Visa’s global head of mobile product Bill Gajda, said Visa already approves NFC-equipped devices, and is working with nearly all of the major handset makers. The company has approved 55 devices to date, according to Gajda, with another 55 more "waiting in line."
Gajda declined to comment on whether Apple may be interested in adopting NFC into the iPhone, but did add that when the Cupertino company does decide to join in, that it would help push a larger portion of consumers towards using NFC.