Vodafone is joining the mobile payments market with its own wallet service, that will launch across its European footprint. The service already went live in Spain, with Germany following in mid-December, and the Netherlands, UK and Italy in spring 2014.
Aside from allowing users to pay for goods with nothing but their phone, the Vodafone Wallet will also be able to hold travel cards, loyalty cards, gift cards and vouchers; and eventually replace all plastic cards in a customer’s wallet or purse. Or at least, that’s what the Big Red carrier would want.
The first application for the mobile wallet, Vodafone SmartPass, was developed in partnership with Visa and can be funded when needed.
The Wallet relies on NFC and equivalent EMV-compliant payment technologies to send encrypted data over short distances. The service will initially be available on NFC-enabled smartphones from Samsung, Sony and HTC, with plans to expand the range next year. On the other hand, if a customer doesn’t have a NFC compatible smartphone, they can still use the mobile payment solution by downloading the Vodafone SmartPass app and applying for an “NFC tag” that can be attached to their device.
As part of the mobile payments push, Voda is working with major European banks to integrate their card portfolios into the wallet. To that end, the company made sure its solution is the first European mobile payment service built on the GlobalPlatform open standard…