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?
[via Apple Insider]