KOREAN PHONE MAKER Samsung will release a limited edition Olympic Galaxy S III handset that will have Visa Paywave technology.
Don't go getting too excited, though, as Visa has said that the 'mobile wallet' won't go on sale to the general public yet, as it will be made available only to sponsored Olympic athletes.
According to Samsung the Paywave enabled smartphone will enable users to "buy merchandise with a wave of the device at thousands of retail locations throughout London", which given that the athletes are unlikely to have to pay, or even want to purchase merchandise, makes the device seem a little unnecessary.
Still, DJ Lee, EVP and head of Sales and Marketing for Samsung's Mobile Communications Business remains optimistic. He said, "Mobile payment services enabled by NFC technology are gaining momentum around the world. The Samsung Galaxy S III has been created with our human needs and capabilities in mind and is the ideal device to showcase the ease and convenience of Visa's mobile payment application at the London 2012 Olympic Games".
Sandra Alzetta, SVP of Mobile at Visa Europe claims that the limited edition device will change the way we pay for goods, saying, "The future is mobile and cash usage will only continue to decline as people use their mobile devices to manage their money, shop and pay."
"This summer our partnership with Samsung will showcase all the advantages of the future of payments: security, convenience, speed and flexibility being forefront among them."
We're not sure that offering a device exlusively to athletes is a good way to push forward NFC payments, since obviously we won't use it if we can't get it. µ