Vodafone, Visa to Pilot New Zealand NFC Wallet (Sept. 9, 2013)
Vodafone and Visa are teaming up to launch an NFC-based mobile payment pilot in New Zealand. The Vodafone SmartPass digital wallet is available as an app for NFC-enabled Samsung GALAXY S III and HTC One smartphones. Once the app is installed, Vodafone subscribers can load funds from any bank account and pay with a tap at thousands of POS terminals equipped with Visa payWave technology throughout the country. The app is protected by PIN code access and transactions are backed by Visa’s global processing network.
Bank of New Zealand (BNZ) also is participating in the pilot, which will take place over the next few months. “The rise of contactless payments is already starting to transform banking,” notes Shelley Ruha, BNZ’s director of enterprise services. “Our NFC trial in 2011 illuminated the possibilities for BNZ and this … trial is the logical next step for us.”
In April 2012, U.K.-based Vodafone joined with two other telecom providers to develop mobile payment solutions in New Zealand through Paymark, a leading electronic payment processor. Earlier that year, Visa and Vodafone announced a worldwide partnership to market a mobile wallet based on Visa’s prepaid account to the mobile operator’s nearly 400 million users.