Vodafone NFC m-payments service to make global debut in Spain

Vodafone NFC m-payments service to make global debut in Spain

SmartPass, the mobile contactless payments service developed by telco giant Vodafone with Visa will make its debut in Spain by the end of year ahead of a wider rollout.

Vodafone customers with NFC-enabled handsets can download the SmartPass virtual card application, enabling them to make payments from a pre-paid Visa account which is loaded from the phone.

Customers without an NFC handset can apply for a contactless sticker that can be attached to their phone.

The technology will let users make low value transactions with a tap of the phone at the more than 250,000 stores across Spain that accept Visa payWave. Customers can also make person-to-person transfers using only the recipient's phone number.

Next year Vodafone plans to incorporate debit and credit cards from financial institutions and also strike deals with third parties which want to use the service to push discount coupons and loyalty programmes. 

Iñaki Cabrera, director, m-commerce, Vodafone Spain, says: "Vodafone SmartPass assumes the next step in the revolution of smartphones...our goal is that customers do not have to use a physical wallet."

Vodafone first unveiled the SmartPass service in early 2012 and plans to roll it out to its hundreds of millions of customers around the world. Germany, the Netherlands, Turkey and the UK have all been floated as likely markets to follow the Spanish lead.

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