Mobile financial-services provider Monitise PLC is planning to make commercially available to financial institutions a mobile contactless-payment service following a pilot involving  U.S. Bancorp, the London-based company announced Sept. 30.

That pilot is slated to start in October (see story). Soren Bested, managing director of Monitise Americas, says the pilot should last about a quarter. However, Monitise is not under an exclusive agreement and could roll out its service sooner if a financial institution requested, he says.

The Monitise service, which for U.S. Bancorp will support Visa Inc.’s payWave contactless application, will use DeviceFidelity’s In2Pay technology to transform smart phones with microSD slots into mobile-payment devices. For handsets lacking a microSD slot, DeviceFidelity has developed a protective case that activates the In2Pay service when plugged into the phone’s universal connector.

Monitise can support any brand’s contactless service, such as MasterCard Worldwide’s PayPass, Discover Financial Services’ Zip or American Express Co.’s ExpressPay, as long as it is encoded properly on the microSD chip, Bested says.

The company, however, is working closely with Visa, which in July increased its investment in Monitise (see story). The card brand also has formed a joint venture with Monitise in India (see story). 

DeviceFidelity also is working with mobile-payment technology company Vivotech Inc. to provide contactless payment capabilities for smart phones (see story).MicroSD technology, while falling short of the potential for Near Field Communication chip-equipped phones, is a logical next step for the payments industry, observers say. NFC chips enable two-way communication with other NFC chips for payments and for the downloading of information such as coupons and rewards.

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