Canadian Security Magazine

RIM to provide security framework for mobile payments

By The Canadian Press   

News Data Security

TORONTO — Research In Motion has struck an agreement to help manage security technology that will make it possible for many Canadians to make purchases with their smartphones through "mobile wallets."

The BlackBerry-maker says it has been chosen by EnStream, a mobile payment company set up by Canada’s three largest wireless networks, to provide the security infrastructure that would make the technology work.

The system can be used as a substitute for debit and credit cards at retail checkouts that support the system.

Under the agreement, RIM will manage security credentials for SIM cards in BlackBerrys and devices running both the Android and Windows operating systems.

“RIM is very pleased to play a key role in this Canadian mobile payments solution,” said Canadian managing director Andrew MacLeod.

“For banks and for Canadian consumers, RIM’s (technology) is designed to make payment with your smartphone both seamless and secure. Whether you’re filling your gas tank, picking up a coffee, or buying groceries, making a purchase will be as simple as tapping your smartphone.”

EnStream is a joint venture set up between BCE Inc.’s Bell, Rogers and Telus specifically to manage mobile payment technology, which also includes gift cards, and loyalty rewards programs.

Aside from its mobile phone hardware business, RIM also owns technology for secure payments between consumers and retailers on mobile devices.

RIM has also developed technology that will allow its latest operating system and BlackBerry devices to support new encryption features.

Recently the company said the new generation BlackBerry smartphones will have technology inside that allows them to double as access badges for buildings with secure entry systems in place.

RIM is preparing to launch its new BlackBerry 10 operating system and BlackBerry devices early next year, though a specific launch date hasn’t been set. A touch screen version of the smartphone is expected to debut first, followed by a keypad variation of the device.

After numerous delays of the new phones, RIM appears to be preparing for the rollout.

Last week, the company sent out an invitation to some of Ottawa’s key government officials for a sneak peek at the new BlackBerry operating system. The event is designed to drum up excitement on Parliament Hill where the BlackBerry remains the dominant phone.

RIM shares gained six cents to $7.75 in trading Monday morning on the Toronto Stock Exchange.

— David Friend

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