The BlackBerry Bold 9900 and Curve 9360 have something to brag about: They are the first SIM-based smartphone to earn the MasterCard PayPass Certification. This states MasterCard feels the phones have the proper functionality and security to handle MasterCard’s NFC-based PayPass payment system.
MasterCard’s contactless payment system rolled out years ago but the company announced earlier this year the system would hit SIM-based systems. Gemalto kickstarted the effort with its SIM cards, which also earned a nod from MasterCard. But now that the Bold 9900 and Curve 9360 are PayPass certified, any MasterCard PayPass-issuing bank can assign a PayPass account to the SIM card within the phones.
Andrew Bocking, Vice President, Handheld Software Product Management at RIM indicated in a released statement today that RIM is proactively working with carrier partners, banks, retailers and other industry players in regards to NFC technology. This certification is a “significant step forward in the way we use mobile devices for payments” he said.
The BlackBerry Bold 9900 is RIM’s latest flagship device and sports a 2.8-inch touchscreen over a qwerty keypad. The device is currently sold by several carriers worldwide including Vodafone, Telus, Rogers and T-Mobile USA. Likewise, the Curve 9360 is also a qwerty worldphone but does not feature the touchscreen found in the 9900. Both launched last August as part of RIM’s push into the NFC arena.