Telefonica is extending a test NFC scheme to cover RIM’s BlackBerry smartphones, as it moves towards launching commercial mobile wallet services in 2012.
The Spanish incumbent’s recently formed Digital division has teamed with RIM to deploy Telefonica Wallet on BlackBerry Bold 9900, Curve 9360 and Curve 9380 smartphones. A total of 350 triallists will use the devices to pay for goods at Telefonica’s headquarters, and even gain access to the building instead of using a security card.
Telefonica’s chief operating officer, Julio Linares, explains the BlackBerry devices were chosen “because of the security that the platform brings.” All three RIM devices run the firm’s latest BlackBerry 7 operating system, and sport SIM-based NFC capabilities. The devices have also been certified for NFC payments and are compatible with the UICC/SWP protocol.
RIM’s devices add to a range of Samsung smartphones used by Telefonica since it launched a pilot NFC scheme in April. Around 1,000 devices were initially issued, though the carrier plans to extend the test to 12,500 staff globally.