Wireless operator Vodafone and card giant Visa have unveiled the SmartPass contactless mobile payments system that they will launch in Australia next year.
The pair formed a global partnership in February, promising to bring NFC-enabled mobile payments to millions of customers in more than 30 countries around the world, including Germany, the Netherlands, Spain, Turkey, and the UK.
From next year, Aussies will be able to pick up an NFC-SIM from Vodafone and download the telco's SmartPass app to a compatible handset such as the Samsung Galaxy SIII. They will then register for a 'virtual' Visa reloadable pre-paid card - provided by ANZ - using the app, and pre-load funds from their existing Visa or MasterCard card.
This will enable them to make payments of up to A$100 by tapping their handsets against the Visa payWave readers installed at thousands of Aussie shops.
The service will be trialled over the next few months using Samsung SIII handsets but Vodafone says that it plans to make 80% of all the smartphones it sells on contract NFC-enabled from next year to boost take-up.
Thomas Roets, GM, strategy and business development, Vodafone, says: "We expect to see NFC smartphones eventually replacing all the cards we carry in our wallets, whether for payment, travel, loyalty, ID, or gift vouchers, enabling access at a whim. The opportunities are endless!"