Samsung and Visa prepare for the 2012 Olympics with NFC wireless payment app

Olympics 2012 payWave NFCQuite apart from all the sporting action which will take place during the 2012 London Olympics, there is quite a bit of cool tech being introduced too. Already confirmed is Europe’s largest free Wi-Fi network, including coverage in the London Underground system, plus various big events plus the opening and closing ceremony will be broadcast on TV in 3D.

Now, Samsung and Visa has revealed more information on a new wireless payment system, all set to be up-and-running for when the athletes, spectators and the world’s press descend on London later this year.

Both Samsung and Visa are big sponsors of the Games, and the pair has installed more than 3000 wireless payment terminals spread across the many Olympic venues. The payWave system enables people to pay for goods and services using NFC contact-less technology.

Although hardly new technology, NFC has been making headlines ever since Google introduced Google Wallet and the Galaxy Nexus last year, however in countries such as Japan, NFC payments have been commonplace for years. With Google Wallet currently restricted to the USA, there were rumors that Google would use the Olympics as a reason to expand the service to the UK, however as yet no announcement has been made.

Back to Samsung and Visa, whose press release talks about the introduction of the mobile payWave app, which will allow instant purchases of up to £15, and anything over this amount requiring a passcode to be entered. Other features include a balance check and a transaction history.

Compatible hardware

Samsung Olympic LogoAs we all know by now, NFC usually needs both software and hardware support to operate, and sure enough a series of phones have received an official stamp of approval from Visa. According to The Next Web, these include the Samsung Galaxy S II, the LG Optimus Net NFC and a selection of BlackBerrys such as the Bold 9900, the Bold 9790 and the Curve 9360/9380.

As several of these phones don’t have NFC built-in, Visa could adopt a system whereby a microSD card with an NFC chip will be circulated to those wanting to take advantage of the wireless payment system. Having tested the method before and met with success, this neatly lets Visa avoid having to partner-up with a network or restrict users to phones with an NFC chip.

Of course, as handy as a microSD card with NFC would be, it won’t help iPhone users very much.

But what about those who won’t be bringing a phone with them? Samsung has announced it’ll be launching a special edition phone for the London 2012 Olympics, and it’ll feature a built-in NFC chip. It’ll be given to all attending athletes, plus it will be made available to buy around the world.

The payWave app will be demonstrated at Mobile World Congress, and there’s a good chance we’ll get our first look at Samsung’s 2012 Olympic phone at the show too. The 2012 London Olympic Games starts on 27 July.

Mobile

Galaxy S10 leak shows radical tech that could help Samsung kill the notch

While we still may be months away from an announcement, there's no doubt about it: Samsung is working hard on its successor to the Galaxy S9. Here's everything we know about the upcoming Samsung Galaxy S10.
Mobile

Declutter your life with our favorite wireless chargers for Android and iPhones

We checked out the best wireless phone chargers to make tangles and uncooperative ports a thing of the past. Whether you have an iPhone or Android, find out which wireless charging pads are worth buying, and how their features compare.
Mobile

Verizon's newest deals can net you $500 off the LG V40 ThinQ

Looking for a new LG flagship? The LG V40 ThinQ is here, and it's bringing a familiar style, two more camera lenses, and upgraded specs. Here's absolutely everything you need to know about the LG V40 ThinQ.
Mobile

Huawei Mate 20 Pro vs. Samsung Galaxy Note 9: Flagship fight

When it comes to stunning flagships, Samsung and Huawei are often the first names the come to mind. And the new Huawei Mate 20 Pro is no exception. So how does it compare to the Samsung Galaxy Note 9? We put the two to the test to find out.
Mobile

Safeguard your new Apple smartphone with one of our favorite iPhone XS cases

If the iPhone XS is your next device, then you’ll want to shop for some proper protection now. That glass sandwich design is all too easy to scratch or crack, so make sure you snag one of the best iPhone XS cases to keep it looking good.
Mobile

From Android 1.0 to Android 9.0, here’s how Google’s OS evolved over a decade

It's hard to believe, but Android has been around for almost a decade now. From Android 1.0 to Android 9.0 Pie, here's the history of Android and the changes that came with each new software iteration.
Mobile

The Pixel’s Night Sight mode is currently available (but hidden)

The Google Pixel range has always been the home of some of the mobile world's best phone cameras. That performance could be about to get even better with the introduction of the low-light Night Sight mode.
Mobile

Google is working on a fix for the Pixel 3's image-saving bug

The Google Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL are arguably the best Android phones out there right now -- but they aren't perfect. Users have reported a number of issues and problems related to the Google Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL. Here's how to fix them.
Mobile

Apple's iOS 12.1 update will include a fix for iPhone XS, XR selfies

After months of betas, the final version of iOS 12 is here to download. The latest OS comes along with tons of new capabilities, from grouped notifications to Siri Shortcuts. Here are all the features you'll find in iOS 12.
Mobile

Apple could show off a new iPad Mini and AirPower charger at October event

Apple's sprung a surprise event on us, even though this year has seen loads of new Apple releases. So what's left to come? Quite a lot as it turns out. Here's what to expect from Apple's October 30 event.
Mobile

Unleash your inner artist with the best drawing apps for the iPad Pro

The best drawing apps for the iPad Pro turn Apple's robust tablet into a canvas worthy of a true artist. Here are 20 of our current favorites, whether you're looking to keep things simple or take your art to the next level.
Music

Spotify vs. Pandora: Which music streaming service is better for you?

Which music streaming platform is best for you? We pit Spotify versus Pandora, two mighty streaming services with on-demand music and massive catalogs, comparing every facet of the two services to help you decide which is best.
Social Media

Meet Messenger 4: Facebook’s makeover both simplifies and customizes your chats

Messenger will soon be getting a new look. Facebook has unveiled Messenger 4, an update with the same tools but a simplified look. The chat app is also getting a new customization feature.
Photography

Intel’s augmented reality brings Red Bull Rampage into your living room

The extreme mountain biking action of Red Bull Rampage is coming to your living room thanks to the power of augmented reality and 360-degree video that lets fans load a scale replica of the course right in their phones.