Vodafone and Visa partner in mobile payment scheme

NFC payment system coming to the UK potentially later this year
Adam Smith

February 28, 2012

Vodafone and Visa have announced a global partnership in a mobile phone based payment scheme.

The move comes as networks and card companies look towards a shift in retail to paying with your smartphone rather than your debit or credit card.

Thirty countries across the globe are to be encompassed by the new mobile payment service, although it will initially be launched in Europe, or to be more precise the UK, Germany, the Netherlands, Spain and Turkey.

The Vodafone mobile wallet will be launched at some point in the coming financial year, i.e. from this April, but it’s likely we won’t see it live until later on in 2012.

The system will use NFC phones and a pre-paid Voda-branded Visa card, with wave-and-pay contactless payments to take care of transactions below the value of £15. A pin number will be required for purchases above that amount as an added security measure.

Vittorio Colao, Group Chief Executive Officer of Vodafone, commented: “The Vodafone mobile wallet represents the next stage of the smartphone revolution. It offers our customers the speed, simplicity and convenience of managing their everyday transactions with a single wave or tap of their smartphone, using innovative and reliable services developed by Vodafone and Visa – technology and providers they can trust.”

“Our mobile wallet will be open to any service provider and we are committed to enable all partners to provide our joint customers the richest service portfolio possible.”

Peter Ayliffe, CEO of Visa Europe, said: “Our partnership with Vodafone represents a huge stride forward for mobile payments. Any Visa Issuer across these key markets will be able to work with Visa and Vodafone to enable mobile payments for their customers, backed by all the security, trust and global acceptance the Visa brand represents.”

Google Wallet was launched late last year in the US, of course, an NFC mobile payment system in conjunction with Mastercard. And that could possibly make its way over here later this year.

No doubt there’ll be plenty of options before long for those with NFC phones – which last year was predicted to rise to 20% of all smartphone owners by 2014.


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