Vodafone Set To Launch Mobile Wallet Next Month

mobile phone roaming charge europe SIM card © anaken2012 Shutterstock

Vodafone is reportedly ready to follow Apple into the mobile payment arena with contactless payments based on NFC-SIM cards

Vodafone is to launch a mobile wallet next month, allowing its customers to make contactless payments using their smartphone.

According to the FT, the operator has been working with Visa on a system based on a Near Field Communication (NFC)-enabled SIM card.

Vodafone hopes that by storing details securely in a SIM card, it can inspire confidence among sceptical consumers and compete effectively against rival offerings from payment providers, banks and other operators, such as EE Cash on Tap.

Vodafone mobile wallet

NFC - ShutterStock: © style-photography.deIt will also be a rival to the recently announced Apple Pay, which is exclusive to the iPhone and secures payment details in the form of codes and transaction numbers at a chip level.

Vodafone’s wallet only works with Android devices and there is a £25 transaction limit, although the company is looking at increasing this ceiling so the service can be a genuine alternative to cash and card payments.

It is believed there are 300,000 payment terminals capable of receiving Visa-based contactless payments, including the London Underground, and Vodafone has apparently held discussions with loyalty card schemes such as Nectar.

The Newbury-based firm has launched similar services in a number of other European countries and has been part of the ‘Project Oscar’ joint-venture with EE and O2 now known as Weve. However, with Apple Pay set to be US-only for the time being, Vodafone says the availability of compatible devices and consumers becoming more receptive to contactless payments, the time is right to launch in the UK.

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