Cingular, Visa team on contactless payment trial

Cingular and Visa are teaming up to launch trials of mobile phone payment systems using Near Field Communication technology in Atlanta. The 250 members of the trial group will be able to purchase food, drinks, videos and music at Atlanta's Phillips Arena by waving their phone one to three inches away from NFC terminals. The arena is equipped with 150 such terminals. The contactless payment systems are expected to speed the process of buying refreshments at sporting events, where spectators are typically in a rush to return to their seats.

The purchasing process is streamlined because it does not require an exchange of money, a printing of the receipt or a signature if the sale price is under $25. ViVOtech is supplying the handset-based wallet software and contactless readers for the trial, while Nokia is providing the handsets for select season ticket holders who are both Visa Chase cardholders and Cingular subscribers. This marks the first major test of NFC technology for uses like contactless payment in the US.

For more on Cingular and Visa's NFC solution:
- take a look at this article from Digital Transactions