Nokia sets up NFC venture with Giesecke & Devrient

Nokia Corp. and smart card specialist Giesecke & Devrient GmbH have finalized their new near-field communication (NFC) joint venture, naming it Venyon.

Venyon is headquartered in Helsinki, Finland, and has another office in Munich, Germany. The company plans additional locations in Dallas, Texas and Singapore.

The current head of Nokia’s NFC group, Lauri Pesonen, will become chief executive officer of the company starting next year.

The companies announced the joint venture in June. Giesecke & Devrient owns 43 percent of Venyon and Nokia owns the remaining 57 percent.

Venyon plans to create and operate a service that can be used by banks or mobile operators to securely manage transactions made using cell phones equipped with NFC technology.

NFC is a short-range wireless technology originally developed by Koninklijke Philips Electronics NV and Sony Corp. Users of phones that have NFC technology can simply wave the phone in front of a reader to make a payment or present a ticket.

Nokia and Giesecke & Devrient were part of an announcement made last week of an NFC trial in New York. Select Cingular Wireless LLC users that have MasterCard Inc. credit cards from Citigroup Inc. will receive Nokia NFC-enabled phones that they can use to buy goods in stores that have MasterCard NFC readers. Those taking part in the trial can also use the phones to buy subway tickets on a certain subway line in the city.

Interested MasterCard and Cingular customers can still apply to take part in the trial through Wednesday.