Vodafone customers in Europe will be able to add bank cards to their Vodafone digital wallets from Q2 2015, after an agreement with Visa and Carta Worldwide.
The deal enables Vodafone customers in Germany, Spain, the UK, Italy and the Netherlands to use their smartphones to pay for goods and services at contactless terminals.
The service will require a Vodafone near field communication (NFC) SIM card. It will be available across a wide range of Android smartphones, say the partners.
To use the service, customers will need to:
- Input their bank cards to the Vodafone Wallet app, where an alias of each card is stored securely in the Vodafone NFC SIM.
- Confirm ownership of the payment card using Verified by Visa authentication.
- Pay by tapping their phones against a contactless point-of-sale (PoS) terminal; and check their mobile payment transaction history using their phones, wherever they are.
Payments are automatically debited from the selected bank cards, which are protected with a user-defined 4-digit PIN for higher value payments.
Carta Worldwide is contributing the payment card enabling technology. Its CEO, Brian Semkiw, said he, “was thrilled to partner with Vodafone to make mobile payments the most simple, convenient and secure way to pay”.
Mark Ritzmann, head of mobile m-commerce at Vodafone Group, said: “The digital wallet just took another step forward. With a few clicks, customers will be able to add payment cards to their Vodafone Wallet and use Android smartphones to pay at contactless terminals. Thanks to our agreements with Visa and Carta Worldwide, using bank cards stored on Vodafone Wallet is now fast, secure and simple.”
Jeremy Nicholds, executive director of mobile at Visa Europe, explained that the deal will enable Visa credit and debit cards to be used for mobile contactless payments (MCP) across Europe, adding it was, “part of Visa’s strategy to accelerate mobile payments and make it easier for banks to enable their cards on mobile phones, and for consumers to pay in a secure and convenient way.”
Vodafone Wallet is currently available in Germany, Spain, the UK, Italy and The Netherlands. Customers can already add loyalty cards into the Vodafone Wallet, as well as pay with Vodafone SmartPass that was launched in partnership with Visa in 2013.
This evolution of the Vodafone Wallet is part of the Vodafone m-commerce strategy, which is designed to provide a mobile alternative to coins, banknotes and plastic cards.