Nokia has released a shell for its series 3220 mobile phone that will enable consumers to use the hand set for making contactless payments.
The shell uses near field communications (NFC) technology and allows customers to make payments by pointing the phone at a point-of-sale terminal. Payment information, such as debit and credit card details, is stored in an integrated smart chip in the shell.
Nokia says the NFC system is compatible with existing contactless payment infrastrucutres. Visa says the NFS shell is a natural extension of Visa's contactless programmes, while MasterCard says the development is a natural extension to the PayPass trial it carried out with Nokia in Texas in 2003.
In addition to payments, the NFS technology can also be used for ticketing and Nokia is teaming with German transport firm Rhein-Main-Verkehrsverbund to trial the system on the bus network in Hanau, near Frankfurt.
Peter Preuss, head of strategy and innovation at RMV, says: "NFC enables us to securely store and electronically control tickets in mobile phones... Another important feature of the project is, that the NFC enabled phones are compatible with the contactless smart card infrastructure already installed in Hanau."
Commenting on the new product, Petri Vesikivi, director at Nokia's ventures organisation, says: "Mobile operators can provide payment and ticketing applications to the phone together with service providers such as banks and transportation companies."
The Nokia NFC shell for payment and ticketing will be available in mid 2005 and will be distributed to customers by mobile network operators.