Research In Motion Limited , the maker of Blackberry, got the approval from credit card company Visa Inc. (V - Analyst Report) for its secure mobile payment solution. The Visa agreement came at a crucial juncture for Research In Motion as the company is all slated to release its Blackberry 10 OS-based devices by the end of this month.
According to the new agreement, the Research In Motion’s Secure Element Manager (“SEM”) solution for Near Field Communication (“NFC”) mobile payments has met the stringent norms and usability guidelines of Visa. According to the Canadian handset manufacturer, its latest step will enable its carrier partners to securely manage credentials on SIM cards installed in the NFC enabled devices.
Research In Motion’s SEM solution provides software and server infrastructure in the cloud that allows the wireless carriers to offer mobile payment services through banks and other financial institutions, which work with Visa. The company’s Blackberry 7 smartphone models are already equipped with NFC chips and SIM cards and its latest offering BB10 OS-based device will also possess the same.
Research In Motion, which invented the concept of mobile email with its initial Blackberry devices has lost significant market share in a crowded smartphone market, now being dominated by Apple Inc.’s (AAPL - Analyst Report) iPhone and other smartphone manufacturers, which runs on Google Inc.’s (GOOG) Android platform. The recent launch of Microsoft Corporation’s (MSFT - Analyst Report) Windows 8 platform has only aggravated the problem.
The struggling handset manufacturer is betting on its much hyped BB10 OS-based devices and is currently fine tuning the bits and pieces of the new phone. The new operating system is based on QNX software, which is compatible with various open-source coding language, much more user friendly and is expected to be loaded with more applications as compared to its legacy handsets.
We believe tying up with Visa is a significant move by the company as according to market research firm IDC, global mobile payment transaction is expected to cross $1 trillion by the end of 2017. Furthermore, Visa’s formal approval will strengthen Research In Motion’s global reach and will emphasize its trusted partnership with hundreds of carriers worldwide as a key security partner for mobile payment.
We maintain our long-term Neutral recommendation on Research In Motion. Currently, it holds a short-term Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).