RIM testing NFC-powered digital wallet service in Spain

Spanish wireless carrier Telefónica Digital announced Wednesday that it has partnered with Research In Motion on a new NFC-based mobile wallet pilot in Spain. The carrier provided 350 of its employees with NFC-enabled BlackBerry smartphones that are pre-loaded with its Telefónica Wallet application. The phones can be used to purchase goods and services at local retailers, or to open doors at the Telefónica’s headquarters with a simple tap to another NFC sensor. Read on for more.

“We have chosen the BlackBerry solution for this pilot because of the security that the platform brings,” Telefónica Digital chief operating officer Julio Linares said. “RIM’s participation has been important for this pilot project, and we are now planning to extend the project to more and more Telefónica employees around the world.”

Telefónica Digital chief executive officer Matthew Key commented further: “Trials such as this are important to ensuring a great customer experience and we look forward to seeing the launch of commercial wallet services in several markets next year.”

Both Google and ISIS, a collaborative between major U.S. wireless carriers and credit card companies, are working on similar initiatives in the United States. Telefónica Digital’s press release follows below.

Telefónica Digital and RIM announce NFC payments with Blackberry smartphones

• Telefónica Digital has developed a version of its Wallet for NFC enabled BlackBerry smartphones

• To be deployed first in Spain as part Telefónica pilot, that will roll out in several internationals markets in 2012

Waterloo ON and Madrid, Spain, 23rd of November- Telefónica Digital and Research In Motion (NASDAQ: RIMM; TSX: RIM) today announced a pilot programm of the Telefónica wallet for BlackBerry® smartphones.

In collaboration with local banks and retailers Telefónica will roll out the Telefónica Wallet for BlackBerry to 350 employees at its headquarters in Distrito Telefónica, Spain. Those taking part in the trial will be able to pay in a simple, easy, safe and convenient way by simply tapping their BlackBerry smartphones against a reader. Employees that are part of the NFC pilot project will also be able use their BlackBerry smartphone (in lieu of a security card) to gain physical access to the Telefónica headquarters office.

The Telefónica Wallet for BlackBerry currently supports the following NFC-enabled smartphones: BlackBerry® BoldTM 9900, BlackBerry® CurveTM 9360 and BlackBerry® CurveTM 9380, all of which run the new BlackBerry® 7 operating system.

According to Julio Linares, COO from Telefónica, S.A, “We have chosen the BlackBerry solution for this pilot because of the security that the platform brings.” He continued: “RIM’s participation has been important for this pilot project, and we are now planning to extend the project to more and more Telefónica employees around the world”.

“We are getting ever closer to the point where our customers will be able to take the contents of their wallets and put them on their mobiles,” said Matthew Key, Chairman & CEO Telefonica Digital. “Trials such as this are important to ensuring a great customer experience and we look forward to seeing the launch of commercial wallet services in several markets next year.”

“RIM is committed to supporting the advancement of NFC and its many applications in the market,” explained Jim Balsillie, Co-CEO at RIM. “We have a strong partnership with Telefónica Group and we are very proud to participate in this important pilot, which allows people to use their BlackBerry smartphone in place of separate physical cards for mobile payments and building access.”

Registro Mercantil Provincia de Madrid, Tomo 12.534, Folio 21, Hoja M-6164, Inscripción 1359a, del Libro de Sociedades, CIF A-28/015865. Sede Social: Gran Vía 28, 28013 Madrid (España).The Telefónica Wallet for BlackBerry makes use of SIM-based NFC capabilities, offering a simple interface for managing cards. The application replicates a physical wallet, showing the different cards available to the user. Once the user has selected a card, they are offered a range of options including making transactions, getting account balances and receiving confirmations from the bank.

Additional partners participating in the pilot include banking and financial institutions, retail and food stores, gas stations and others.

BlackBerry smartphones offer a secure environment for NFC payments. The BlackBerry Bold 9900 and Curve 9360 smartphones have already received certification for NFC payments and are compatible with the UICC/SWP protocol which, when used with Telefónica SIM cards, provides a secure platform for NFC use.

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