[CES] MicroSD Card Turns iPhone Into Mobile Wallet

Jan 15, 2012
Fumitada Takahashi, Nikkei Electronics
The microSD memory card and case that realize an NFC function
The microSD memory card and case that realize an NFC function
[Click to enlarge image]
The application for smartphones has a function to show nearby stores where the mobile payment service can be used on a map.
The application for smartphones has a function to show nearby stores where the mobile payment service can be used on a map.
[Click to enlarge image]

DeviceFidelity Inc, a US-based venture, developed a microSD memory card featuring NFC (near field communication) capability.

In January 2012, the company tied up with Spring Card Systems LLC and launched a service called "moneto," which uses the microSD memory card and a smartphone to make payment. DeviceFidelity demonstrated a smartphone equipped with the card at the 2012 International CES, which took place from Jan 10 to 13, 2012, in Las Vegas, the US.

The moneto is a service that uses the microSD memory card and Apple Inc's iPhone smartphone. DeviceFidelity sells the card, a case for the iPhone and a prepaid card issued by University National Bank, which is a US-based bank, as a set for a price of US$79.95 (including $10 stored in the prepaid card). As a mobile payment service, MasterCard Inc's "PayPass" non-contact payment service is used.

The NFC function can be used by downloading an application software to an iPhone and inserting the microSD memory card into a slot on the case for the iPhone. Data communication is realized by using a small communication antenna embedded in the card and another antenna attached to the case.

It is possible to wire electronic money to the account of the prepaid card via the Internet. As a result, the iPhone can be used as a mobile wallet at stores.

The moneto service will be available to the users of Android-based smartphones in the second quarter of 2012. Because Android phones have a slot for microSD memory card, DeviceFidelity will make changes to the card accordingly.