Vodafone, the UK headquarter mobile telecommunications giant, has announced a partnership with credit card company and payments provider Visa to offer its customers mobile wallet functionality.
The technology allows customers to pay for small transactions using near-field communications (NFC), plus higher-value purchases using a secure passcode. Users will pay funds into a pre-paid account.
The system will be based entirely on services from Visa, including its payWave NFC system, the pre-paid account functionality and its global payment processing infrastructure.
The companies described the partnership as the “largest” of its kind, as it will cover all 30 countries in which Vodafone operates.
Telefónica, the largest mobile operator in Europe, has announced a number of smaller mobile payment partnerships. For example, its UK subsidiary O2 announced has partnered with Visa Europe to support its mobile wallet service, but in Latin America the company has formed a joint venture with Mastercard, named Wanda.
Earlier this month, O2 announced that it would delay the launch of O2 Wallet for further testing.
Meanhwhile, O2, Vodafone and Everything Everywhere – the UK’s three largest mobile operators – last year proposed a mobile payments joint venture, named Project Oscar. The joint venture was seen as a bid to combat Google’s Wallet offering, due for release in the UK this year.
According to a report last week from the Daily Telegraph, the companies have yet to file papers to the European Commission to seek regulatory approval. The joint venture has been opposed by rival operator Three as anti-competitive.