Research In Motion (NASDAQ:RIMM) has partnered with Bank of America to conduct mobile wallet trials, according to the blog Boy Genius Report.
According to the blog, which said it obtained communications the bank sent to select customers inviting them to participate in the trials, the trials are set to begin this spring. It is unclear what software customers will use to make the phones NFC-capable, but the blog said that the bank will send customers a new battery cover with an NFC antenna and a microSD card. The mobile wallet trials will be conducted with customers who have either the BlackBerry Curve 8520 and 8530; BlackBerry Bold 9000, 9650 and 9700; or BlackBerry Tour 9630, and the devices will be able to use MasterCard PassPass POS terminals.
Representatives from RIM and Bank of America did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
RIM has made no secret of its intentions to add NFC capabilities to its smartphones. "Many, if not most, of BlackBerry devices throughout the year will have NFC in them," RIM co-CEO Jim Balsillie said during a keynote address at the Mobile World Congress trade show in Barcelona, Spain, earlier this month.
Mobile payments appear to be gaining steam this year. Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) integrated NFC support into Android 2.3, and Isis, the mobile payments joint venture from Verizon Wireless (NYSE:VZ), AT&T Mobility (NYSE:T) and T-Mobile USA, has inked deals with merchants, though the company is still not saying which ones or when the service will launch.
- see this BGR post
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