Vodafone, Visa Continue NFC Push with European Wallet (Nov. 26, 2013)
Vodafone is bringing its NFC-based mobile wallet to Europe, and using an open standard to make it easy for banks, retailers and transportation agencies to host services in the wallet. The Vodafone Wallet is available for NFC-enabled smartphones from Samsung, Sony and HTC, with plans to expand the range in 2014. The wallet currently is live in Spain, and is set to roll out to Germany in mid-December, with the Netherlands, U.K. and Italy following in spring 2014. Vodafone SmartPass, developed in partnership with Visa, is the first mobile payment app available for the wallet. The app enables users to transfer funds to their mobile phones from any bank, make purchases at any contactless payment terminal that accepts Visa payWave and transfer money to other SmartPass users. A SmartPass NFC tag is available for users who don’t own an NFC-compatible smartphone. In September, SmartPass began a test run in New Zealand, following the November 2012 announcement of a SmartPass pilot in Australia. Both initiatives stemmed from the worldwide partnership Vodafone and Visa signed in early 2012 to extend NFC mobile payments to 400 million users in 30 countries.
The Vodafone wallet is the first mobile payments service in Europe built on the GlobalPlatform open standard, according to the company. “By building our service on the latest GlobalPlatform standard as opposed to a proprietary system, our mobile wallet is open to all third-party service providers, including banks and financial institutions, and we are focused on delivering the broadest service portfolio possible,” said Christian Wirtz, group m-commerce director, Vodafone.