Telefonica Digital and RIM announce NFC payments with BlackBerry smartphones

RIM Telefonica NFC Payments
By Adam Zeis on 23 Nov 2011 09:12 am EST

While new BlackBerry 7 devices with built-in NFC have been out for a while now, we're still in search of ways to take advantage of them. There aren't currently many apps or services that make use of NFC, but today RIM and Telefonica have teamed up to bring mobile payments to NFC-enabled BlackBerry smartphones. Telefonica's BlackBerry Wallet allows users to pay with their device simply by tapping it against a reader. This is the first of what we hope is many NFC payment solutions for BlackBerry and a very welcome addition. Keep reading for the full press release.

Press Release

Brings a secure environment for conducting transactions

  • Telefonica Digital has developed a version of its Wallet for NFC-enabled BlackBerry smartphones
  • To be deployed first in Spain as part of a Telefonica pilot that will roll out in several international markets in 2012

WATERLOO, ONTARIO and MADRID, SPAIN--(Marketwire - Nov. 23, 2011) -

Telefónica Digital and Research In Motion (NASDAQ:RIMM)(TSX:RIM) today announced a pilot program 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 make payments in a simple, easy, safe and convenient way by simply tapping their NFC-enabled BlackBerry smartphone 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 key 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 Telefónica 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."

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, 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.

Adam Zeis Adam Zeis "Mobile Nations Content Strategist" 3740 (articles) 2892 (forum posts)

Reader comments

Telefonica Digital and RIM announce NFC payments with BlackBerry smartphones


I dunno about Canada but Australia doesn't seem like they are in a hurry to use the NFC on BB, or even Android phones. One of the bigger banks(Commonwealth Bank) is putting the effort into making a nfc enabled case for iPhone so they can get iPhone users making mobile payments. It's annoying how companies put Apple users ahead of others.

I personally would only make mobile payments using a secure device(BB) so hopefully we see something for BB soon everywhere. Ill be back in Canada in April and would be happy if there was something by then :)

To be honest, apple users are clueless of what they want and just followed a trend. Sad, but it's true. BB is where it's at!

Fanboy, nah, I just find my BB great for everything I do and I don't play ganes, even if I did, I'd use a dedicated machine, not my primary communication device.

The advantage with BlackBerry NFC is that you can assign your BlackBerry to manage multiple cards, not just one. With the iPhone case, it will only be able to manage one card from that one specific bank. With BlackBerry's built-in NFC, you are able to manage multiple cards from a variety of supported issuers.

you can't blame companies for developing apps for the iPhone; they base their decisions on user numbers and BB unfortunately is not there anymore. Here in the US, I'm not aware of any banks having mobile banking apps for BB, Capital One for sure doesn't :(. If they didn't invest in a app for bb, what makes you think they will ever invest in a NFC app? It's sad but I think the NFC feature on the BB will remain unused for the most part. The only application will be RIM's own Touch or whatever that feature is they blogged about here last week and maybe some company somewhere will enable it's employee's BBs to use NFC for access to facilities.

Dont know what rock you live under in the U.S. but There are plenty bank apps for BB & NFC is not an App, its built into the phone like Wifi and Bluetooth. For company to invest money in products that are not NFC capable is ridicules.

So then maybe some pressure could go down to the carriers to actually enable NFC then? Even if there are no uses yet for it, disabling it at the carrier level is pretty cheap on their part.

so a little over a year ago, i made the prediction that this was going to be the future (as im sure countless others did). but i wanted to take this a step futher (and if i see you guys using this in the future, i want paid!!!) and develop something in the phone for ezpass on the turnpikes. how nice would it be to just drive through the toll booth and not have that big box taped to your window but just having your phone in the car. they could take it even futher by just charging your cell phone plan. this would be great for those who dont travel all that often (so they have no need of the ezpass) but may use the turnpike once in a while.
i also hope that this nfc really takes off for bb. it would be nice to have bb sell more units because of this. more units mean that developers have to pay more attention to bb and in return that means better time saving things for bb users.

I just attempted to install BB Wallet on my 9930 and App World said it wasn't available for my device. Is this bc BB Wallet isn't available for Bb7? Or bc Sprint is blocking it?

I'm really excited for the future of a RIM secured BB Wallet. It would give me such a piece of mind to be able to leave my cards @ home in a safe place (I would imagine that having physical access to buildings means that this could eventually replace my State I.D.). When you lose your phone, you just use BB Protect to find or wipe it and Desktop Manager to restore everything when you find it under your driver seat 10 minutes later. I have a good feeling about this.

Thanks for the info Adam!

As I am from Spain and my career is Movistar (Telefonica). Here in Spain Vodafone got exclusivity of the Bold 9900 for 3 months (since September from end of November) so now I know my beloved 9900 will be available for Telefonica! YES!!!

The question is when... but i don't care as I think it will be when vodafone's exclusive runs out.

If I get any new notice from Telefonica about this new I will let you know.

RIM/BB needs to make deals with local underground and bus companies for NFC payments (eg: Oyster in UK, Octopus in Hong Kong), etc.

This will *REALLY* get BB's visibility and coolness up, to the point of actually luring consumers back to BB fold.

Folks would be asking, what phone are you using to pay for your Underground/Bus ride?

Blackberry pride goes waaaaayyy up ;)

It's nice to see BBerrys used in a new and leading edge application.

I really like the idea of it also being your card entry at work, as it removes the need to have that silly lanyard around your neck. Let's just hope the technology is deployed at more than just "system trials"

Still, another stone in the road to RIM's recovery.