In a near perfect example of convergence, soon you'll be able to use your iPhone as a VISA card. Visa and DeviceFidelity have teamed up to introduce In2Pay, a case that turns your iPhone into a credit card. The resulting device will allow you to use the iPhone at approximately 150,000 retail outlets nationwide that have terminals that accept contact-less payments like Visa payWave.
The case, which connects to the dock of your iPhone, adds a MicroSD card slot in which a DeviceFidelity MicroSD card is used to make the secure contact-less payments. The In2Pay case is designed to stay on your phone and includes a Micro USB port for charging and syncing your phone. The price of the case and the use of mobile payment services will be determined by the individual financial institutions, according to Dave Wentker, head of mobile contact-less payments for Visa, in an e-mail to WalletPop.
Because the iPhone Visa case uses Visa payWave and industry standards, you'll be able to use your iPhone as a Visa card at all types of retail environments, ranging from restaurants and convenience stores to unattended kiosks and baseball games. You can view all the payWave locations near you on this handy map from Visa and view a demo of the new iPhone Visa case below.
To use the iPhone to make a Visa payment, users will need to launch an app, click "pay" and then wave their device in front of a contactless point of sale system. As part of the security, the device will only transmit payment information when you click pay. Users can set a password lock on the app, but it is optional so that users who already have a lock to access their iPhone don't need to enter yet another password. If you lose your iPhone with an In2Pay case, you'll need to call your card provider just as you would with a regular credit card.
One issue with the current setup is that many users already have a favorite iPhone case. It could be one that works with a wireless charging station, acts as an extended battery or just provides protection. Whatever your current case situation, you may need to alternate or adjust your use if you plan to add In2Pay to your iPhone. Perhaps we'll see future iPhone models come with the DeviceFidelity technology built right in.
When asked if users of other devices can expect to see similar technology in the near future, Wentker confirmed that the technology will work in other smartphones with a MicroSD slot, but he didn't provide any specific dates or devices.
The Visa iPhone case will be in testing during the second quarter of 2010, so there's still a bit of time before you can start making payments at your local coffee shop. When In2Pay does arrive, your iPhone, combined with a loyalty rewards card app like CardStar, could easily replace your wallet for quick trips out of your house.
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