Vodafone has announced innovations to the payments services that smartphone users will be able to access on their handsets.
In partnership with Visa who have a global network of retail merchants who can process the transactions UK Vodafone users who have Near Field Communications-enabled smartphones who have a Vodafone stored value account will be able to use the new services in a similar way to how Oyster cards are used in the UK from April 2012.
Most smartphones do not have the Near Field Communications technology needed to use the service at the moment but Vodafone says these will become more common on later releases of smartphones, including some Android models to be released later this year.
Vittorio Colao, Group Chief Executive Officer of Vodafone, said: “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.”
The Vodafone stored value account is a virtual debit card and allows people to hold and top up low levels of money on their phones which can be used in stores that accept the new form of payment to pay for goods up to £15 in value.
Vodafone’s partnership with Visa, which has payment merchants in more than 200 countries across the globe, means that the new system of payments should be able to be accessed relatively easily.
The service uses a system of mobile payment technology called Visa payWave mobile and is based on the existing Visa prepaid account.
Users will be required to enter a pin to pay for transactions of more than £15 but can be swiped to pay for low-value everyday goods.
Peter Ayliffe, CEO of Visa Europe, said: 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.”
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