Visa is teaming with Turkey's Akbank and vendor DeviceFidelity to launch Europe's first microSD-based contactless mobile payment system.
Akbank customers will be able to insert DeviceFidelity's In2Pay microSD into their handsets' memory card slots, turning them into contactless payments devices that can be used with Visa payWave terminals.
The project will commence with Blackberry handsets but will expand over time to include an array of devices from manufacturers including HTC, Samsung, LG, Nokia and Motorola.
Visa says that with millions of smartphones offering microSD support, the In2Pay technology allows mobile operators, banks and transit authorities to deploy their mobile financial offerings easily across a huge range of handsets.
Mary Carol Harris, head, mobile, Visa Europe says: "One of the key challenges to the success of mobile payments is the supply and availability of NFC handsets. Until a majority of mobile handsets offered in the market are supplied with integrated NFC, Visa is proactively working with innovators like DeviceFidelity and pioneers such as Akbank to harness the potential of new technologies."
Visa first teamed up with DeviceFidelity in February in a bid to exploit the potentially lucrative mobile phone-based contactless payments market.
Its main rival MasterCard has taken a different approach, pushing NFC-enabled stickers that can be attached to any mobile device. It is also working with another Turkish bank, Garanti, and vendor Gemalto on NFC-enabled SIM cards that remove the need to buy purpose-built contactless handsets.