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Contactless payment – will it be a success?

The technology has been around for a while, but experts are touting 2012 as the year that contactless payment really takes off.

Using Near Field Communication (NFC), smartphone users will be able to simply tap their phone on a pay point in order to purchase things.

Unsurprisingly, tech and mobile companies have not stopped telling us about how this is the future of mobile technology.

And if MWC is anything to go by it certainly is. Contactless payment points were set up all over Barcelona before the event, to demonstrate just how wonderful the technology is.

Vodafone and Visa deal

We’ve also had an announcement of a new partnership between Vodafone and Visa. Launching worldwide in the spring, Vodafone customers with an NFC-enabled phone will be able use Visa’s mobile payment method PayWave.

Vodafone is very excited about it, with chief executive Vittorio Colao calling it “the next stage of the smartphone revolution.”

He went on to say: “Our mobile wallet will be open to any service provider and we are committed to enable all partners to provide our joint customers the richest service portfolio possible.”

Samsung and Visa deal

And it seems that Samsung is getting in on the act too, with a payment app designed specifically for the London 2012 Olympics.

Where better launch a new way of paying for things than at the world’s biggest tourist attraction? And as Samsung is an official partner of the Games, NFC could really off this summer.

“London 2012 is a unique opportunity to show the future of payments coming to life and leave a lasting legacy post-2012. The new mobile payment application is central to this showcase,” said Sandra Alzetta, Head of Innovation at Visa Europe.

All the signs point to contactless payment being a big success. But if not, Visa and mobile phone companies will ram it down our throats until it is.