Vodafone Group is starting its mobile payment service Vodafone SmartPass in Spain, being supported by Wirecard Group for the entire payment process.
The official launch is planned for the end of November. Germany, the UK and The Netherlands as well as other countries to follow step-by-step.
Dr. Christian Wirtz, Vodafone Group Director mCommerce commented: “After months of intensive preparations we are looking forward to going live in Spain. We are convinced that contactless payments using smartphones will gain pace from 2014, and that our customers will value, in particular, the added value that our mobile services offer.”
Wirecard is supporting Vodafone as a technical service provider when implementing the mobile payment application for various mobile phone types. Furthermore Wirecard is responsible for the creation, implementation and operations of all technical processes. This includes the issuing and payment processing of physical and digital Visa cards. Cards are issued by Wirecard Card Solutions Ltd., a Wirecard group company.
“The Vodafone Group is launching a mCommerce strategy with its Vodafone SmartPass which will re-define payment behavior to date. We are providing Vodafone with an end-to-end ecosystem – starting with registration, and spanning technical processing, through to financial services,” added Dr. Markus Braun, Wirecard’s CEO.
Vodafone SmartPass customers with an NFC-enabled mobile phone can start straight away and use their Vodafone NFC-SIM card to make contactless payments at the point of sale (POS) from their Vodafone SmartPass credit balance. Wirecard will provide NFC tags for mobile phone models which are not NFC-enabled. These tags are attached to the phone. In addition, each Vodafone SmartPass user receives a supplementary physical Visa card for use at the POS. Users also benefit from useful functions such as the opportunity to send money to other registered Vodafone SmartPass users, to load credit balances directly in the App, a detailed transaction overview, and automated notices of flows of money. Customers can use a multi-lingual help desk, provided by Wirecard’s call center infrastructure.