Samsung Galaxy S3 to launch huge Olympic NFC scheme

Samsung Galaxy S3 to be official Visa phone of the Olympics
Galaxy S3 - it just became even more important

Samsung and Visa have confirmed the newly-announced Galaxy S3 will be the official Olympic Games phone, showcasing how NFC payments can be integrated into everyday use.

The S3 is the first top-end handset from Samsung to launch with NFC on board, and as such, will be offered as a limited edition showcase device through the addition of the nascent Visa payWave application.

The phone will be used only by athletes and trialists during the test, and will make use of 140,000 terminals around the capital during the Games, allowing participants to pay for anything from taxis to clothing to gaining entrance to the Olympic Park.

Sorry Mr Bolt… no phone, no entry

Of course, this does raise the issue of security on our phone once more, especially as the payWave application will allow the user to pay for goods over the £15 limit previously found on contactless payment cards.

The application will need to be activated to allow payment to take place, and Visa says that any purchase over £20 will need a passcode to be authorised – so placing a lock on your phone too should allow a good level of security should the handset be lost.

The app will also allow users to track their spending and monitor recent transactions, and will be used as a precursor to contactless payments being used more regularly around the country.

Sandra Alzetta, Senior Vice President of Mobile of Visa Europe said: "Mobile technology has long been a revolutionary force in our lives and NFC-enabled devices such as the Galaxy S3 will fundamentally change the way we pay.

"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," she added.

Gareth Beavis
Formerly Global Editor in Chief

Gareth has been part of the consumer technology world in a career spanning three decades. He started life as a staff writer on the fledgling TechRadar, and has grown with the site (primarily as phones, tablets and wearables editor) until becoming Global Editor in Chief in 2018. Gareth has written over 4,000 articles for TechRadar, has contributed expert insight to a number of other publications, chaired panels on zeitgeist technologies, presented at the Gadget Show Live as well as representing the brand on TV and radio for multiple channels including Sky, BBC, ITV and Al-Jazeera. Passionate about fitness, he can bore anyone rigid about stress management, sleep tracking, heart rate variance as well as bemoaning something about the latest iPhone, Galaxy or OLED TV.