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mobile money

Vodafone set to launch global NFC-based mobile wallet

It seems that yet another company has decided to enter the mobile wallet game… this time, it’s telecommunications giant Vodafone. The group has reportedly partnered with mcommerce company Corfire and security company Gemalto to roll out a NFC-based mobile payments solution to its customers as early as next year.

Lauren Granger
While studying towards her Bachelor of Journalism degree at Rhodes University, Lauren gave into her fascination with everything digital. As she was more interested in creeping... More

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According to Corfire, the app would allow transactions like point of sale payments, and could potentially roll out to Vodafone customers in over 30 countries, making it “one of the biggest global implementations of NFC and mobile commerce,” according to CorFire’s president and CEO Dr. Jae Chung.

Techcrunch reports that the service will initially be available for Android devices in Europe (namely Germany, Spain, the UK and the Netherlands). It will allow customers with Vodafone devices to wave their phone to pay at tills, as well as manage coupons, loyalty and travel cards.

Vodafone, which is the second largest mobile operator worldwide, hasn’t specified exactly when the mobile wallet will be available for other devices or customers in other countries, although Gemalto said that its technology would be the basis for a range of services that can address hundreds of millions of international subscribers in “all the countries where Vodafone Group operates”. According to the company, the wallet will allow Vodafone subsidiaries and third parties like banks, transport operators and retailers to plug into the ecosystem.

“We are committed to partnering with the best suppliers to offer customers the speed, simplicity and convenience of managing everyday transactions with a single wave or tap of their smartphones,” said Vodafone Group’s mcommerce director Christian Wirtz. “The consumer benefits of contactless payments are obvious and the industry in Europe is now at the beginning of rolling out a contactless infrastructure. The potential of mobile to transform existing industries — such as financial services, retail and transport — is enormous.”