updated 10:39 am EST, Fri November 22, 2013
Android app allows NFC payments, offers sticker for non-NFC devices
Vodafone has launched a mobile payments system in Spain, one which will be making its way to other areas of Europe in the future. The Vodafone Wallet, and first accompanying payment app Vodafone SmartPass, will be able to make payments using their Android smartphones, with funds being transferred from a nominated bank account.
Developed with assistance from Visa, The Next Web reports that the SmartPass app will use NFC for the contactless payments. For smartphones without NFC built in, Vodafone will supply an NFC sticker that can be attached to the rear of the phone, similar to Barclays Paytag. The Vodafone Wallet app will also work with other card-related items aside from normal payments, including travel cards, loyalty cards, and vouchers.
Vodafone intends to roll out its mobile payments system to Germany in mid-December, with the UK, Italy, and the Netherlands launch expected early next year.
The rollout of mobile payments by Vodafone could probably be considered the biggest push for the technology in Europe so far, due to the relatively low take-up of existing offerings. Aside from Vodafone and Barclays, EE currently offers its own Cash On Tap payments system, and NatWest is still trialing its TouchPay system for the iPhone, one which requires the use of a special cover.