In the hopes that mobile wallets and contactless payments will catch on with consumers, mobile phone and financial services firms are looking to next year’s Olympics in London as a tipping point.
Deutsche Welle reports that a mere 70,000 retail outlets in the UK can support NFC payments, but NFC payments also seem to be the victim of the chicken and the egg syndrome, as few NFC devices are available on the market.
However, handset makers intend to release more NFC-enabled devices over the next six months. This isn’t soon enough for the likes of Visa though, who, as the official payment sponsor for the 2012 Olympics, is pushing the concept of a contactless games, where no one will need cash at any Olympic site.
To expedite this, Visa has launched its own mobile accessory called the iCart, a thin case that attaches to the bottom of an iPhone where a payment application can reside. With this option, users can add an SD card to a phone that doesn’t currently accept one and enable contactless payments.
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