Vodafone launches ‘SmartPass’ mobile wallet service

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The NFC-enabled service will allow users to make purchases, transfer money and check their balance from their smartphone

Vodafone has today (November 22) announced the launch of its ‘SmartPass’ mobile wallet, which will enable users to pay for items using their smartphone.

The SmartPass, which will launch in Spain today, Germany in mid-December and the Netherlands, UK and Italy in spring 2014, relies on NFC (near field communications) technology to work, just like many contactless cards. This means payments are made by holding or swiping the phone across compatible Visa terminals.

Payments of £20 or less will not require users to input a PIN, but higher value transactions, checking balances and transferring money will require one.

Vodafone SmartPass, a service developed in partnership with Visa, is the first mobile payment app available for the wallet. The SmartPass allows customers to transfer funds to their mobile phone regardless of which bank they use.

Customers without NFC-compatible smartphones can use the service by downloading the Vodafone SmartPass app and applying for an ‘NFC tag’ that can be attached to their device.

Users can top up via the Vodafone SmartPass App and pay by tapping their phone at a point of sale. Customers with a feature phone can still use the tag but need to fund the account via a website.

Vodafone Group mCommerce director Christian Wirtz said: “By building our service on the latest GlobalPlatform standard as opposed to a proprietary system, our mobile wallet is open to all third-party service providers, including banks and financial institutions, and we are focused on delivering the broadest service portfolio possible.”

4 COMMENTS

  1. If I don’t need a tag (so have a compatible handset), does the NFC transaction come directly out of my bank account or do I have to have the funds loaded beforehand in the Vodafone wallet and they are paid from that?

    • Dan,

      You would normally have to load fund into your account. I have trialed this with a smart pass, which is a stick that you put on your phone, but i would assume that Vodafone will launch an app soon which will enable it to use NFC on the handset.

      It will be great to have in my opinion.

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