Visa has launched its Tap to Phone technology, which enables Android handsets to be used for accepting NFC payments, in more than 15 markets, with the US to follow in 2021.
Tap to Phone transforms current generation Android smartphones and tablets into contactless software-based point of sale terminals without additional hardware.
Sellers download an app, supported by their acquirer, and after registering and selecting their participating bank, can start accepting contactless payments in minutes. The technology builds on top of the security of an EMV chip transaction, in which each transaction contains a dynamic cryptogram that cannot be reused.
After trials over the last year, the tool is now live in a host of countries in Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Asia Pacific and Latin America. Brazil, Italy, United Arab Emirates and the UK will follow shortly.
Visa says that with the world increasingly turning to digital payments amidst Covid-19, Tap to Phone can help millions of small and micro businesses quickly access the digital economy, prevent lost sales and improve cash flow.
To help support take up, Visa has introduced a Ready for Tap to Phone programme, enabling technology companies to become Visa Ready certified, ensuring security standards.
Mary Kay Bowman, global head, buyer and seller solutions, Visa, says: "With billions of phones around the world at the ready, the opportunity that comes with lighting them up as payment acceptance devices is enormous. Visa Tap to Phone could be one of the most profound ways to reinvent the physical shopping experience."
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