Spain: Vodafone launches SmartPass m-payment service.
Vodafone Spain has become the first operator in Spain to launch an NFC-powered mobile wallet service allowing customers to pay for goods and services with a touch or wave of their smartphone. The Vodafone Wallet app can also hold travel cards, library or gym membership cards, loyalty cards, gift cards and vouchers, the aim being to eventually replace plastic cards.
The first payment app available for the Wallet is called Vodafone SmartPass and has been developed in partnership with Visa. The app uses prepaid funds to enable customers to pay for goods with their smartphone at any Visa contactless payment terminal.
The service will initially be confined to NFC-capable smartphones from Samsung, Sony and HTC, with plans to expand the range rapidly in 2014. Vodafone also says that customers without a compatible NFC phone can apply for an NFC tag to stick to the back of their handset to use in conjunction with the SmartPass app.
Currently the app is only available on Android via Vodafone Updates and customers who install it on their phones will need to enter a password and provide their Visa card number before being allowed to use the service at 300,000-plus locations in Spain and 1.2 million in Europe.
The service will be launched in Germany in mid-December and expanded to the Netherlands, UK and Italy in spring 2014. Vodafone is also working with major European banks to integrate their card portfolios into the wallet.
Wirecard is supporting Vodafone as a technical service provider implementing the mobile payment application for various mobile phone types. Wirecard is also responsible for the creation, implementation and operations of all technical processes. Wirecard will provide NFC tags for mobile phone models which are not NFC-enabled.
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