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Visa signs on to RIM’s secure mobile payment tech

The RBC Mobile Wallet application is seen here in Toronto on July 9, 2012.

Tim Fraser for The Globe and Mail/Tim Fraser

Research In Motion says the Visa credit card system has approved the smartphone company's method for handling secure mobile payments.

The green light from Visa is a step towards offering global support for any device equipped with the BlackBerry maker's mobile-payments technology

Visa's approval also builds on an initiative by Canada's three biggest wireless networks through their EnStream joint venture.

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RIM shares were up 85 cents, or 5.96 per cent, to $15.12 in early trading on the Toronto Stock Exchange.

The jump follows two days of big gains for the stock, which closed at $11.79 last Thursday.

The recent gains take RIM stock above $15 for the first time since last February.

RIM's BlackBerry has built a reputation for highly secure mobile communications used by military, law enforcement and business customers around the world.

The company is hoping to use that reputation and a new generation of BlackBerry to reclaim market share lost to Apple's iPhone and Android-based smartphones.

The official launch of the BlackBerry 10 product line is scheduled for Jan. 30.

Research In Motion describes its Secure Element Manager technology, or SEM, as a way for networks to manage all types of mobile devices equipped for close-range wireless payments, also known as near field communications or NFC.

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The EnStream joint venture owned by BCE's Bell, Rogers and Telus has already begun to deploy mobile payments in Canada using the RIM SEM technology.

"The approval from Visa of RIM's SEM solution is an important step in that it will enable carriers to support Visa issuing banks and financial institutions," said Frank Maduri, a RIM senior director responsible for mobile payment services.

"We now offer carriers a robust solution with around-the-clock global support that works on any NFC-capable device, and meets the stringent technology and usability guidelines for Visa."

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