Vodafone-PayPal Payments Go Mobile in The UK

Consumers in the U.K. can now use contactless payments with Android smartphones thanks to a partnership between Vodafone and PayPal. Only Visa and Mastercard accounts could be used previously, but now, Vodafone Pay can complete a payment using PayPal and even when a device is powered down.

Vodafone, the third-largest mobile operator in the U.K. according to Statista, has teamed up with PayPal to allow U.K. consumers to make contactless payments with their Android smartphones, funded from their PayPal accounts.

Consumers can tap their smartphones in over 400,000 restaurants, shops and transportation locations that accept contactless payments. Transportation services in and around London that accept contactless and Oyster will support mobile payments of up to £30. For transactions of higher amounts, consumers can use Vodafone Pay, part of the Vodafone Wallet app, at retailers along with a PIN. Visa and Mastercard cards can be loaded to Vodafone Pay if preferred over PayPal.

Vodafone’s agreement with PayPal allows consumers to sign up for a PayPal account within the app if they do not already own one. According to Finextra, Vodafone Pay can be used if a phone is out of battery life or switched off because the contactless SIM connects automatically to the contactless terminal to make the transaction. Users of Vodafone Pay can download the Vodafone Wallet app and use a contactless NFC in their device. Contactless SIM can be ordered for free within the app or obtained online or at any Vodafone U.K. store.

The app sends notification of the transaction to the cardholder and records all transactions in the app and in the customer’s PayPal account, but the customer’s financial details are never stored on the mobile handset or SIM card if PayPal is the source of funds.

Rob Harper, director of mobile commerce for PayPal U.K., commented: “Money is going digital, and the smartphone is at the center of this transformation. Mobile payments have long been at the heart of what we do. In fact, this year marks 10 years since we first launched a mobile payment service in the U.K. As mobile technology continues to evolve, we will continue to look at new ways to make it easier and faster for our customers to pay.”