The Samsung Galaxy S III has been confirmed as the official phone of the London 2012 Olympic Games. This was announced officially by Visa as the two companies are in partnership over the new NFC (near field communication) technology that will be offered to athletes and the public while they are in the city and the rest of the UK.

The new Samsung Galaxy S III was launched in a London event recently, becoming the new flagship Android phone for the company. It features a host of upgrades including a bigger screen at 4.8 inches with 1280×720 HD display, an 8 mega pixel camera, 32GB internal storage, 1.4 GHz Exynos 4 Quad processor, voice recognition and eye-tracking software. There are also features in the new software that makes it easier to share content, make calls and find information.

There will be a limited edition version of the Samsung Galaxy S III that will be available when Visa and Samsung officially launch it. There have however been no images of this version of the phone that have been released.

The NFC capabilities that the Samsung handset offers have been bundled together with a special version of the payWave Android application from Visa(partnered with Lloyds TSB). The NFC technology will allow for contactless payments by athletes and other users in a number of retailers across London as well as the other Olympic sites that are dotted around the UK.

The aim by Visa to achieve this is to have 140,000 contactless terminals installed across the UK so that payments are able to be done at a high number of areas. The financial company is making sure that the Olympic park as well as retailers and taxis are all outfitted with this technology.

The NFC technology partnership between the two companies was made common knowledge after the February MWC (Mobile World Congress) event. Samsung and Visa announced the payment app payWave, and showcased the contactless technology, how it operated and how mobile contactless payments were going to change the way that consumers purchased goods and services.

The payWave system uses contactless readers for people to buy items, requiring them hold their NFC-enabled device in front of one of the readers. Anything that is above £15 will require users to use a passcode, while those payments that are below that threshold are able to be done without the use of one.

The app will also allow users to keep real time accounts of how they are spending their money by viewing recent transactions in a list and viewing their up to date balances.

This technology is set to make lives easier now that users of it will not have to be carrying cash all the time. However it should be noted that with the rise of NFC, smartphones will become an even juicer target for would be thieves on nights out. People could easily find themselves unable to explain transactions as their phones are stolen and spent on small transactions very quickly which do not require a code to be entered. Hopefully Visa has thought of this possibility while developing the readers.

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