After much speculation, it has been confirmed by sponsors Samsung and Visa that the Samsung Galaxy S III will be the official mobile phone of the London 2012 Olympic Games. However, you won't be able to buy one of the limited-edition showcase handsets, they are strictly for sponsored athletes and selected trialists.
Because of its NFC contactless payment capabilities, Visa Europe will be installing a version of its Visa payWave application on the special devices, allowing those who manage to get their hands on one to pay for merchandise, food and drink within the Olympic Village and plenty of other retail locations around London.
The app works as a digital wallet, with the user being able to pay for items by simply waving it over contactless payment terminals, of which there are expected to be 140,000 in operation around the UK by the start of the Games. Payments of more than £20, however, will need to be verified with a passcode for security reasons.
"Mobile payment services enabled by NFC technology are gaining momentum around the world," said DJ Lee, executive vice-president and head of the sales and marketing team of Samsung’s Mobile Communications Business.
"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, senior vice-president of mobile at Visa Europe, added: "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."
The official Olympic Games version of the Samsung Galaxy S III is supported and enabled by London 2012 Games partner Lloyds TSB in the UK.
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