Tuesday, February 28, 2012
Vodafone unveils the 'mobile wallet' that will see smartphones swiped at the till to pay for shopping
The mobile phone giant's partnership with Visa will allow users to pay for goods or services from the autumn with a wave or tap of their smartphone - in the same way Oyster cards are used on London's public transport.
The service, which acts as a mobile wallet, will be available on Near Field Communications-enabled smartphones using a form of mobile payment technology called Visa payWave mobile.
Set to launch worldwide from the spring, it will be based on the Visa prepaid account and available to users of the Vodafone stored value account.
While consumers can simply swipe their phone at a payment terminal to pay for less expensive items such as newspapers or coffees, they will be asked to enter a pin code for purchases of £15 or more.
Vodafone chief executive Vittorio Colao said this new method of payment represents ‘the next stage of the smartphone revolution’ which offered customers ‘speed, simplicity and convenience’.
HOW DOES IT WORK?
A special chip called a 'tag' is planted in phones.
Using near field communications (NFC) technology, details of the purchase are transmitted wirelessly to a central data bank and logged on your credit card file.
For purchases over £15, users must punch in a PIN number.
The system began trials last summer in New York and San Francisco and is already used for bus trips in China and for buying cinema and theatre tickets in India.