Today Vodafone and Visa launched the Vodafone Wallet and Visa SmartPass service in the Netherlands, the third European market to see the benefit of the wide-ranging partnership announced by the two companies in 2012.
SmartPass is the first service to offer consumers in the Netherlands the chance to make secure, easy contactless payments using their mobile phone. The service will work on any contactless payment terminal in Europe that displays the V PAY logo. Users will also be able to transfer money to each other's SmartPass accounts using the service.
The Vodafone SmartPass payment service has been developed with Visa and is based on a prepaid Visa solution. For transactions under €25, customers can pay easily and conveniently by simply touching their mobile phone to a contactless terminal showing the V PAY logo. For transactions over €25 the customer will be invited to enter a passcode to verify their purchase.
Mary Carol Harris, Director of Mobile, Visa Europe, said: "We are delighted to be launching the third SmartPass service with our partner Vodafone. Together we are driving the availability of mobile payments services for consumers across Europe. This follows on from the momentum we are gathering from launches in Spain and Germany, with more to come over the course of the year. With contactless payments also soaring, we are finally in a position where the foundation for mobile payments at scale is in place to bring these services to consumers."
Rob Shuter, CEO of Vodafone Netherlands, said: "Within five years we anticipate that Dutch people will use their phone as their primary payment device. Today, we have taken an important step in making physical wallets superfluous, which is one of our driving ambitions for the future."
Vodafone customers with a compatible NFC-enabled handset that has been certified for the SmartPass service will be able to sign-up to SmartPass through an easy in-store process. Customers without a supported NFC handset are given the option to attach a Visa contactless microtag (NFC sticker) to their mobile device, which will enable the service. The SmartPass service also includes a physical companion V PAY card which can be used to make payments in stores that do not currently have a contactless terminal.
Vodafone plans to substantially expand its Vodafone Wallet service in the future to include services such as public transport tickets, e-tickets, contactless keys (for example to an office or hotel room) and many others.
SmartPass and the Vodafone Wallet service will launch in the UK later this year.