Sydney, 20 November 2012 - As part of the world’s largest mobile payments partnership, Vodafone and Visa today announced a preview of Vodafone SmartPass; a mobile payments application that will enable customers to pay for goods and services using Near Field Communication (NFC) and Visa payWave technology with the wave of a smartphone.
Launching as early as next year, the new mobile payments capability from Vodafone and Visa means customers will be able to leave their wallets at home and pay for everyday transactions like groceries, coffee, clothing, movie tickets, and more, with their smartphones.
The Vodafone SmartPass app is based on a ‘virtual’ Visa reloadable prepaid card, stored on an NFC-enabled SIM. Once the app is activated, customers can load funds using their existing scheme debit or credit card and set auto top-ups to ensure they have adequate available funds.
It is estimated total NFC payments globally will reach more than €110 billion in 2015.
"NFC is fast-becoming the "it" feature to for smartphones, and for very good reason," said Thomas Roets, General Manager of Strategy and Business Development at Vodafone.
"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."
"We expect to see NFC smartphones eventually replacing all the cards we carry in our wallets, whether for payment, travel, loyalty, ID, or gift vouchers, enabling access at a whim. The opportunities are endless!"
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 at Vodafone will have NFC technology,” said Thomas.
Vipin Kalra, Visa’s Country Manager Australia, said: “This announcement heralds a new era in the way Australians are going to pay, bringing the convenience of Visa payWave from a plastic card to the mobile phone.
“We are excited to partner with Vodafone to develop a unique, end-to-end solution which has the potential to allow any customer to purchase an NFC handset from Vodafone and start making mobile Visa payWave transactions within minutes.Vodafone SmartPass payments are protected by multiple layers of security.
The Vodafone SmartPass application can be protected with a PIN code; transactions are backed by Visa’s global processing network and analysed for fraud in real-time; and Vodafone SmartPass accounts can be deactivated in the case of a lost or stolen phone. Like all Visa transactions, Vodafone SmartPass is protected by Visa’s Zero Liability policy.
“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 Vodafone SmartPass solution has been built in close collaboration with Visa, Vodafone, ANZ and Rev. ANZ is the financial institution providing the virtual Visa reloadable prepaid card and is also the acquiring bank for loading funds. Rev is a prepaid payment processor that connects into VisaNet to process the transactions.
The pre-commercialisation program will use Samsung Galaxy SIII smartphones equipped with the Vodafone SmartPass app.
“Over the next few months, we’ll engage 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.
The Vodafone SmartPass app will be accepted at hundreds of thousands of Visa payWave enabled contactless terminals across Australia and around the world, including large retailers Coles, Woolworths, JB Hifi, McDonalds and Bunnings Warehouse.
About Vodafone and Visa partnershipIn February this year Vodafone and Visa announced the world’s largest mobile payments partnership to enable consumers to pay for goods and services using their mobile phones instead of coins and banknotes. The companies are working together to develop a Vodafone-branded proposition that will be offered to consumers across Vodafone’s 398-million customer base in more than 30 countries across five continents, enabled by Visa’s outstanding payment network, product suite and brand. The partnership - the largest of its kind between a global payment network and mobile operator - combines the companies’ global reach and expertise to bring Visa payment functionality to consumers around the world.
About Vodafone Hutchison AustraliaVodafone Hutchison Australia (VHA) operates the Vodafone, 3, and Crazy John’s brands. Formed in June 2009 following a merger between Vodafone Australia and Hutchison 3G Australia, VHA provides mobile services to more than 6.8 million customers in Australia. www.vodafone.com.au
About VisaVisa is a global payments technology company that connects consumers, businesses, financial institutions and governments in more than 200 countries and territories to fast, secure and reliable digital currency. Underpinning digital currency is one of the world’s most advanced processing networks—VisaNet—that is capable of handling more than 20,000 transactions a second, with fraud protection for consumers and guaranteed payment for merchants. Visa is not a bank, and does not issue cards, extend credit or set rates and fees for consumers. Visa’s innovations, however, enable its financial institution customers to offer consumers more choices: pay now with debit, ahead of time with prepaid or later with credit products. For more information, visit www.corporate.visa.com.
1 Frost & Sullivan, NFC - When Will Be the Real Start?, January, 2011.
2 Visa's Zero Liability policy covers Australian and New Zealand-issued cards and does not apply to ATM transactions, transactions not processed by Visa or certain commercial card transactions. Cardholders should notify their issuer promptly of any unauthorised Visa use. Please consult your issuer for additional details.
3 Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Limited ABN 11 005 357 522 AFSL 234527 is the issuer of the virtual prepaid card. The prepaid card can be loaded with up to $1,000 in available funds and is subject to other periodic load limits.