New partnership to accelerate mobile payments during Olympics
Visa and Lloyds TSB have announced the bank as the mobile payments issuance partner for the Samsung Olympic and Paralympic Games mobile handset, which will be given to Visa-sponsored athletes. As issuance partner, the contactless enabled Olympic handsets given to Visa-sponsored athletes will be linked to Lloyds TSB accounts. The announcement signals the start of Lloyds TSB's broader mobile contactless payments programme for consumers.
Mobile payments are set to transform the payment process for consumers in the UK and around the world, enabling them to make fast and secure transactions using their smartphones. In London there are already more than 60,000 locations where contactless payments are accepted and contactless and electronic card payments will be available across London during the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
Once issued, participants will be able to use Near Field Communications (NFC), the technology required to make mobile payments, built into the Olympic handset. To make payments, customers simply select the Visa mobile contactless application, select pay and hold the phone in front of a contactless reader at the point of purchase. Participants in the programme using the Samsung Olympic Mobile Phone will have the ability to view their balance prior to, and after a transaction, enabling greater control and convenience.
The partnership builds on Visa's work with Samsung Electronics, the Worldwide Olympic Partner for Wireless Communications Equipment, to bring mobile payments to the Samsung Olympic Mobile Phone, which will be available to the general public. Lloyds TSB's support for Visa-sponsored athlete mobile payment issuance marks further cooperation between Olympic and Paralympic Games sponsors to showcase the flexibility and convenience of mobile payments technologies at the world's biggest sporting event.
Sandra Alzetta, Head of Innovation, Visa Europe, said: "The Olympic and Paralympic Games offers an unrivalled opportunity to demonstrate the power of mobile payments to a worldwide audience and further the technology's development. Announcing Lloyds TSB as our issuance partner for our athletes continues this momentum as all eyes turn to London in the run up to the Games."
Mike Regnier, Director of Personal Current Accounts, Lloyds TSB, commented: "The future of payments is changing and Lloyds TSB will be key in transforming the way consumers make purchases, through the launch of mobile payments. Embracing digital innovation is part of our strategy in helping our customers access pioneering products and services.
"We are delighted to be working with Visa at such an exciting time. The launch of mobile contactless payments will revolutionise the way people pay in the run up to, during, and beyond the Games."
Lloyds TSB's wider UK mobile payments plan will be rolled out in a phased approach. The programme starts with a large scale internal pilot using prepaid accounts this month, followed by a commercial launch linked to prepaid accounts by the end of 2011. In 2012, the Samsung Olympic Mobile Phone for Visa-sponsored athletes will have embedded payment capability making mobile payments a reality.
Visa and Lloyds TSB are working with a variety of industry players to ensure that mobile payments work seamlessly across different types of smartphones and mobile networks.