Vodafone, Visa and BNZ make buying stuff with your phone a reality today with the preview of Vodafone SmartPass, a new mobile payments application that will shrink the contents of Kiwi pockets and handbags.
Vodafone SmartPass takes the stress out of shopping, and lets customers make convenient, every day purchases with a simple wave of a smartphone.
Using contactless Near Field Communication (NFC) and Visa payWave technology, the app functions as a digital wallet. Once activated, customers can load funds from any bank to the SmartPass account, which can then be used to pay for items at any location with a Visa payWave contactless terminal.
Matt Williams, Consumer Director at Vodafone, says SmartPass offers Kiwis a smarter way to shop.
“A key advantage of a mobile wallet is that your phone is the only thing you need to lay your hands on before leaving the house. NFC payments globally are estimated to reach more than $36 billion in 2017, and we expect to see NFC smartphones eventually replacing all the cards we carry in our wallets right now.
“The opportunities are endless,” he adds, “And Vodafone customers will benefit from this new technology soon – only on the Vodafone SuperNet.”
Caroline Ada, Visa’s Country Manager New Zealand and South Pacific, says the solution being trialled will allow consumers with a Vodafone NFC-enabled handset to install the functionality to make Visa payWave transactions within minutes.
“Vodafone SmartPass offers a simple and secure way for New Zealanders to pay. In the time it will take you to buy a new phone, you could also be ready to go with the speed and convenience of Visa payWave pre-installed on your smartphone. We’re excited to be on the verge of having the first shop-ready mobile payments solution for Kiwis.
“We want consumers to be able to use mobile technology to pay, get paid and better manage their finances, while getting all the benefits of Visa – convenience, security, reliability and global acceptance,” says Ada.
BNZ Director Enterprise Services, Shelley Ruha says, “The rise of contactless payments is already starting to transform banking. Our NFC trial in 2011 illuminated the possibilities for BNZ and this pre-commercialisation trial is the logical next step for us. The SmartPass is about offering customers flexibility and choice with access to a range of payment methods for different situations which we are pleased can now include mobile contactless payments."
The pre-commercialisation program uses Samsung GALAXY S III and HTC One smartphones equipped with the Vodafone SmartPass app.
Vodafone’s Matt Williams continues, “Over the next few months, we’ll engage in intensive trials and testing with Visa and BNZ to ensure the Vodafone SmartPass brings together the highest standards of security with simple functionality and convenience for customers.”
Vodafone SmartPass will be accepted at thousands of Visa payWave enabled contactless terminals around New Zealand, including Farmers, BP, Z Energy, coffee shops, sports stadiums and many more. Payments are protected by multiple layers of security. The Vodafone SmartPass application can be protected with a PIN code; transactions are backed by Visa’s global processing network and analysed for fraud in real-time; and SmartPass accounts can be deactivated in the case of a lost or stolen phone. Like all Visa transactions, Vodafone SmartPass is protected by Visa’s Zero Liability policy.
The trial of this technology is another step towards a full roll out of NFC technology within New Zealand. It comes off the back of Paymark, Telecom New Zealand, 2degrees and Vodafone New Zealand’s announcement in April 2012 of their intention to form a Trusted Services Manager (TSM), which will establish a robust, open ecosystem for NFC-enabled services in New Zealand.