Vodafone adds banking capability to mobile wallet

Mobile operator Vodafone is enabling its customers to add banking functionality to their Vodafone Wallets

Mobile operator Vodafone is enabling its customers to add banking functionality to their Vodafone Wallets through an agreement with Visa and technology firm Carta Worldwide.

From May 2015, users in Europe will be able to add their bank details to Vodafone Wallet, which can be used to buy things at contactless terminals.

Vodafone Wallet is currently available in Germany, Spain, the UK, Italy and the Netherlands. Users can already add loyalty cards, as well as pay with Vodafone SmartPass.

The new service requires a Vodafone near-field communication (NFC) SIM and will be available on Android phones. The mobile wallet will use Verified by Visa security.

Payments will be automatically debited from bank cards, with a four-digit PIN needed for higher value payments.

“With a few clicks, customers will be able to add payment cards to their Vodafone Wallet and use Android smartphones to pay at contactless terminals," said Vodafone Group head of mobile commerce Mark Ritzmann.

According to Visa Europe executive director for mobile, Jeremy Nicholds, the agreement is part of Visa’s strategy to accelerate mobile payments.

Read more about digital payments

Technology companies are moving into the payments space at a pace. Since Apple launched its Apple Pay mobile wallet in the US, there have been announcements from Samsung and Google of immanent services.

Samsung will make its payment service available in the US in the summer of 2015 as it tries to match the success of Apple Pay.

Samsung Pay – which will be available on its Galaxy S6 – will allow consumers to pay for goods and services at more terminals, due to its use of technology known as magnetic secure transmission, as well as NFC.

Google is expected to launch payments application programming interface (API) Android Pay at its I/O conference in May 2015.

The API will allow developers to add mobile payments to their apps to enable in-store and in-app payments.

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