MasterCard announced that seventeen near field communication (NFC) enabled smartphones have been certified to work with their PayPass mobile phone payment system. Among the bunch is the Nokia Lumia 610 NFC. The approval essentially means that the device has been tested by MasterCard and is confirmed to work with PayPass.
In addition to giving the thumbs up to the group of smartphones, MasterCard also unveiled their PayPass Ready identifier, "a way for mobile device manufacturers to differentiate products that have undergone testing for MasterCard PayPass and received a Letter of Approval." Manufacturers will have the option to use the PayPass Ready logo in advertisements, or even as a decal on the devices themselves. Nokia and RIM are the first two phone makers to embrace the new branding.
"Nokia is honored that the Nokia Lumia 610 NFC will be one the world's first smartphones to include MasterCard's PayPass Ready brand mark," said Andrea Bacioccola, NFC Lead Program Manager, Nokia. "This sends a clear message to operators, banks and other service providers that Nokia is able to quickly enable their payment services on this smartphone."
NFC hasn't quite made it into the mainstream, though services like Google Wallet are making a lot of headway. That being said, it's a positive sign that Nokia is jumping on the bandwagon and becoming a player in the game.
You can check out the full press release below for details on the PayPass program and the other companies and devices involved with it.