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Vodafone and Visa team on NFC m-payments

27 February 2012  |  12714 views  |  0 iphone apps on screen

Mobile network operator Vodafone has formed a global partnership with Visa to bring contactless mobile payments to customers in more than 30 countries around the world.

The Vodafone-branded service will be based on a Visa pre-paid account and offered to customers in partnership with the card giant's issuers. Customers will be able to make low-value purchases at the point-of sale using NFC-enabled phones equipped with Visa payWave for mobile.

The service will initially be launched in Germany, the Netherlands, Spain, Turkey, and the UK, starting in the coming financial year. More countries where Vodafone operates will follow, bringing mobile payments to a potential 398 million-strong customer base.

The partners also plan to widen the service, making the platform open to all relevant industries, including financial institutions, retailers, transport and utility companies, enabling them to host their services within the Vodafone mobile wallet.

Vittorio Colao, group CEO, Vodafone, says: "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, Visa Europe, adds: "Our partnership with Vodafone represents a huge stride forward for mobile payments. Visa's future of payments initiative is more than just a promise: these services are real, tangible and coming to the mainstream consumer market in the very near future. 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."

Meanwhile, Visa has also teamed up with French vendor Oberthur Technologies to launch a service that enables banks and mobile network operators to download payment account information to NFC-enabled smartphones over the air (OTA).

The system means that customers who buy an NFC-equipped phone can contact their bank and, after they have provided authentication, Visa will facilitate the exchange of secure "keys" that unlock the handset's chip and then initiate the download of payment account information.

Bill Gajda, head, mobile products, Visa, says: "In the same way we have enabled the secure provisioning of payment cards for decades, we are now using mobile technology to securely provision mobile payment accounts over the air. Financial institutions, mobile network operators, and even transit operators now have a simple, secure process to activate payment applications at scale and make mobile payments part of everyday life for consumers around the world."
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