Vodafone SmartPass arrives in the UK

Vodafone SmartPass arrives in the UK

SmartPass, the mobile contactless payments services developed by Vodafone with Visa has quietly been launched in the UK following several global rollouts.

Vodafone customers with NFC handsets can download the Wallet app from their appropriate app stores and set up a SmartPass account. Customers without NFC capability will have the option to order a SmartPass sticker to affix to their mobile phones to make payments.

Users can make transactions under £20 at any of the 300,000 retailers that display the Visa and contactless payment logos.

Customers will also be able to make use of paying for public transport across the Transport for London network which recently installed contactless terminals across its service.

Vodafone first launched SmartPass in early 2012 with rollouts in Spain, the Netherlands and Germany.

Comments: (4)

David Hodgkinson
David Hodgkinson - K - London 13 November, 2014, 15:30Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

OK so credit to vodafone, I have set the app up on my phone and it went very smoothly...look forward to receiving the phone tag in the mail as I only have an iPhone 5.

BUT...this is another stored value system the only real use case for which I can really think of is so that I can use it instead of getting my bank card out of my wallet at contactless Tube/Oyster gates. But then why not just use my oyster card if I'm going to top up?

So not materially more convenient + stored value. The user offers will need to be incredible for this to take off. I feel sorry for the dev/product team as looks like they have done a really good job but I fear Apple Pay will blow this out of the water.

A Finextra member
A Finextra member 14 November, 2014, 14:03Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

It was actually soft-launched over a year ago - Just don't try using it at the Vodafone office in London or at their HQ is Dusseldorf, because they won't accept it for payments under £5 the last time I was there...works fine elsewhere. Even on TfL - but the inspectors can't tell if you have swiped because there is a flaw in their equipment that doesnt pick up the smart pass sticker

A Finextra member
A Finextra member 14 November, 2014, 14:51Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

I think the announcement (and the actual app description in the Play store) is somewhat misleading. If your phone has NFC capability or not is irrelevant. The app does not use the NFC capability of the phone, it is merely an account portal. You still need a 1980's sticker - nothing new here at all

A Finextra member
A Finextra member 12 February, 2015, 12:52Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

MNO's should stick to their core business, telephones. 

Is your business ready for the 10th January, 2020?

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