Vodafone UK CEO Guy Laurence: Join Weve or miss out

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Vodafone UK CEO Guy Laurence has said not offering mobile payment services will be like “not signing the Beatles”

Vodafone UK CEO Guy Laurence has said that retailers and brands who do not sign up to mobile payments and marketing joint venture Weve will be making a mistake akin to “not signing the Beatles.”

Speaking at a breakfast meeting attended by leaders of the joint venture – the heads of EE, O2 and Vodafone – Laurence said that the industry was prepared for the adoption of mobile payments, or NFC technology.

Laurence said: “All the industry levers are now in place from our side so the (NFC) technology is ready to go. Given this any merchant services or  loyalty company that does not want to be part of this will get left behind – it will be the equivalent of not signing The Beatles.”

Addressing marketing bosses in the audience, he added: “There are very few new media channels that come on stream with the scale and the breadth of this one. You should try it and I would be astonished if you find it to be a bad decision: 15 million customers from day one on a unique device that’s personal to every single individual – you only have to look at your own behaviour to realise the value of that so come on in, the water is lovely.”

Commenting on mobile wallets, EE CEO Olaf Swantee said: “This is a major opportunity and the opportunity is now.”

Weve is expected to launch mobile wallet services later this year and, according to the JV partners, is open to any other network or MVNO who wants to be involved.

Three is currently thought to be in talks about joining the initiative.

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