In the true spirit of innovation, Vodafone and Visa announced the launch of a game-changing mobile application promising to shrink the contents of our pockets and handbags and to take the stress out of shopping.
Vodafone SmartPass is a new smartphone app launching next year across the world, which will enable consumers to pay for goods and services with a simple wave of a compatible smartphone.
In the fashion of a Visa payWave card, Vodafone SmartPass relies on contactless, Near-Field-Communication (NFC) technology to process transactions securely via the Visa network, directly from your smartphone, quickly, effectively and without hassle.
While the technologies that lie behind the innovation are complex, the experience of using Vodafone SmartPass is anything but - with Vodafone and Visa, as part of the world’s largest mobile payments partnership, delivering an intuitive and straight-forward mobile commerce option for customers.
Getting started will be quick and easy. Simply pick-up an NFC-SIM from Vodafone, download the Vodafone SmartPass app to an NFC-smartphone such as the Samsung Galaxy SIII, register for a ‘virtual’ Visa reloadable prepaid card using the Vodafone SmartPass app, and pre-load funds from your existing Visa or MasterCard payment card, and off you go.
Thomas Roets, General Manager of Strategy and Business Development at Vodafone, said: "NFC is fast becoming the "it” feature for smartphones, and for very good reason."
"As early as next year, customers with NFC-enabled smartphones will be able to leave their wallets at home and pay for a morning coffee, an evening out with friends, or groceries, with their handset."
“NFC technology has the capability to address some of the pain-points of modern commerce, such as tracking and getting more mileage out of loyalty schemes, or taking advantage of retail offers which currently come to us in various forms, making it difficult for us to use. Put simply, enhancements in smartphone technology will not only deliver us with a smarter way to shop, but will also make life a whole lot easier, saving us time and possibly even money,” said Thomas.
According to Frost and Sullivan, it is estimated total NFC payments globally will reach more than $110 billion in 2015 and Vodafone’s GM of Strategy and Business Development expect to see NFC smartphones eventually replacing all the cards we carry in our wallets right now, whether for payment, travel, loyalty, ID, or gift vouchers, enabling access at a whim. “The opportunities are endless!", he said.
Therefore, Vodafone will bolster its NFC smartphone range, with more choice on the way for customers in 2013 and beyond. "We want to ensure our customers are first in line to benefit from this new wave of mobile payments technology. As of next year, 80% of smartphones sold on contract Vodafone will have NFC technology."
Vipin Kalra, Visa’s Country Manager Australia, said: “We are excited to be partnering with Vodafone to bring mobile Visa payWave transactions to Australians. “Vodafone SmartPass offers a simple, secure and convenient way for Australians to pay at hundreds of thousands of stores that already accept contactless payments,” said Vipin.
The pre-commercialisation program will use Samsung Galaxy SIII smartphones equipped with the Vodafone SmartPass app.
The Vodafone SmartPass solution has been built in close collaboration with Visa, Vodafone, and the Australian and New Zealand Banking Group Limited (ANZ), which is the financial institution providing the virtual Visa prepaid card. ANZ is also the acquiring bank for loading funds that enables connecting into VisaNet to process the transactions via a prepaid payment processor.
“Over the next few months, we’ll be engaging in intensive trials and testing with Visa to ensure the Vodafone SmartPass brings together the highest standards of security with the most simple functionality and convenience for customers,” said Thomas. (Source: www.vodafone.com.au)