Visa To Launch payWave iPhone Cases This Summer

Visa To Launch payWave iPhone Cases This Summer

Taking their cue from start-ups like Square, Visa is planning to get in on the iPhone payment act, with a line of special iPhone cases that will allow you to make credit card purchases at retail just by waving your handset in front of a cash register.

The case would basically just be an interface for a secure memory card called Visa payWave, which might also come to competing handsets that support expandable storage slots without the requirement for a case. Visa payWave would be compatible with the iPhone 3G and 3Gs and could be password protected, making sure your stolen iPhone doesn’t end up a stolen credit card. Visa intends to start testing the hardware this summer at the thousands of merchants who already accept payWave transactions.

In theory, I like the idea of using my iPhone to make credit card payments, but I’m convinced that solutions that require third-party hardware aren’t going to gain much headway. Apple seems to agree: last year, Apple was reportedly testing a native payment system for the iPhone that would use RFID to conduct transactions. iPay anyone?

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John BrownleeJohn Brownlee is a Contributing Editor. He has also written for Wired, Playboy, Boing Boing, Popular Mechanics, VentureBeat, and Gizmodo. He lives in Boston with his wife and two parakeets. You can follow him here on Twitter.

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