Vodafone Wallet Opening to Credit, Debit Cards (March 31, 2015)
Users of Vodafone’s mobile wallet soon will be able to make NFC in-store purchases via a linked bank-issued Visa credit or debit card after the telecom operator struck new deals with Visa and Carta Worldwide. Set to launch in the second quarter of this year, Vodafone Wallet’s new card payment capability will be available on “a range of Android smartphones” containing NFC-equipped SIM cards. Users confirm ownership of linked payment cards using the Verified by Visa authentication system, and larger-value payments are enabled with four-digit PIN.
Vodafone Wallet launched in 2013 and currently is available in Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain and the U.K. The app already enables users to manage loyalty programs and make in-store and P2P payments using Vodafone SmartPass, a prepaid account with companion Visa card. The wallet is part of an initiative between Vodafone and Visa to extend NFC mobile payments to 400 million users in 30 countries. Adding bankcard payments could help Vodafone Wallet compete with Apple Pay when the service eventually arrives in Europe, which many observers expect in the coming months.
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