Vodafone Enters Contactless Payment Game

U.K.-based telecommunications conglomerate Vodafone has entered the contactless payment market. In a press release offered by the company Monday (March 30), Vodafone revealed that its mobile payment service will soon support contactless payment technology.

Users of the Vodafone Wallet will be able to enter their card information through the service and make payments at contactless POS terminals thanks to an agreement with Visa and Carta Worldwide, the company said. The service will be supported on a variety of Android smartphones.

“With a few clicks, customers will be able to add payment cards to their Vodafone Wallet and use Android smartphones to pay at contactless terminals,” Vodafone Group Head of mCommerce Mark Ritzmann said in a statement. “Thanks to our agreements with Visa and Carta Worldwide, using bank cards stored on Vodafone Wallet is fast, secure and simple.”

Vodafone Wallet users can upload their payment card information, which will then be stored on the phone’s NFC CIM. Visa’s Verified by Visa authentication system will provide security measures.

According to Visa Europe Executive Director Mobile Jeremy Nicholds, the partnership is a strategic move to secure Visa as a key player in the contactless payment market. “This initiative is part of Visa’s strategy to accelerate mobile payments and make it easier for banks to enable their cards to make payments on mobile phones and for consumers to pay in the most secure and convenient way,” he said.

This is not Vodafone’s first business deal with Visa. Reports say the two linked up in 2013 to allow for the use of the Vodafone SmartPass, an element of Vodafone Wallet, which is currently available to consumers in Germany, the U.K., the Netherlands, Spain and Italy.