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November 23, 2011

RIM, Telefonica to trial electronic wallet

Telefonica employees to use NFC in their smartphones to make electronic payments

By CBR Staff Writer

BlackBerry maker Research In Motion (RIM) and Spain’s Telefonica have unveiled a pilot programme which will see Telefonica’s 350 employees use their BlackBerry smartphone to make electronic payments. Telefonica employees will gain physical access their offices by using their BlackBerry smartphones.

Banks, retailers, gas stations and other services near Telefonica’s Madrid headquarters are also said to be involved in the trial.

RIM, Apple and others are increasingly exploring opportunities to use a technology known as near-field communication (NFC) in their smartphones.

NFC enables users to make electronic payments by tapping the phone against a reader and also makes the phone into an electronic access key.

Analysts, however, feel that consumers have yet to be convinced that they could do away with their credit cards and use the NFC instead.

Meanwhile, Telefonica is also said to be collaborating on NFC technology with France Telecom’s Orange and Britain’s Vodafone.

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