Barcelona, February 27, 2012 - Vodafone and Visa today announced a worldwide partnership to enable consumers to pay for goods and services using their mobile phones instead of coins and banknotes.
The companies will work together to develop a Vodafone-brandedproposition that will be offered to consumers across Vodafone's 398-million customer base in more than 30 countries across five continents, enabled by Visa's outstanding payment network, product suite and brand. The partnership - the largest of its kind between a global payment network and mobile operator - combines the companies' global reach and expertise to bring Visa payment functionality to consumers around the world.
The new Vodafone mobile paymentproposition announced with Visa will be based onthe Visa prepaid account and offered to consumers in partnership with Visa Issuers. The service will initially be launched in Germany, the Netherlands, Spain, Turkey, and the UK, starting in the coming financial year. Other countries within Vodafone's global portfolio will follow.
In addition to the Vodafone-branded stored value account inside the mobile wallet, Vodafone and Visa will work together to enable Visa Issuers for mobile payments globally. The platform will be open to all partners of all relevant industries, including financial institutions, retailers, transport and utility companies to host their services within an innovative new Vodafone mobile wallet.
Vittorio Colao, Group Chief Executive Officer of Vodafone, said: "The Vodafone mobile wallet represents the next stage of the smartphone revolution. It offers our customers the speed, simplicity and convenience of managing their everyday transactions with a single wave or tap of their smartphone, using innovative and reliable services developed by Vodafone and Visa - technology and providers they can trust. Our mobile wallet will be open to any service provider and we are committed to enable all partners to provide our joint customers the richest service portfolio possible."
In developed countries across Europe, North America and Australia, with a mature infrastructure for electronic payments, users of the Vodafone stored value account will be able to make purchases at the-point-of sale using Near Field Communications (NFC) enabled smartphones equipped with Visa payWave for mobile, Visa's fast and secure mobile payment technology. By simply waving their smartphone in front of a payment terminal, consumers will be able to make simple, every day purchases such as bus and train tickets, newspapers, magazines or a morning coffee. Consumers will also be able to make high value purchases securely using a passcode.
Peter Ayliffe, CEO of Visa Europe, said: "Our partnershipwith Vodafone represents a huge stride forwardfor mobile payments. Visa's future of payments initiative is more thanjust a promise: these services arereal, tangible and coming to the mainstream consumer market in the very near future. Any Visa Issuer across these key markets will be able to work with Visa and Vodafoneto enable mobile payments for their customers, backed by all the security, trust and global acceptance the Visa brand represents."
"The convergence of global payment networks, such as VisaNet, with leading mobile telecommunication networks, such as Vodafone, has the potential to transform the way people pay and get paid the world over," said John Partridge, President, Visa Inc. "Visa's relationship with Vodafone will assist financial institutions in both developed and developing countries to offer Visa-quality payments to new and existing account holders."
Vodafone mCommerce strategy
Today's agreement forms part of Vodafone's broader mobile commerce strategy to provide consumers with a comprehensive mobile-based alternative to the cash and cards within their wallets and purses. Vodafone's platform will be open to all partners in the relevant industries. Vodafone is in discussions with a large number of service providers - including banks, retailers, transport and utility companies, event organisers, smartphone application developers and advertisers - to host a broad range of services within an innovative new Vodafone "virtual" mobile wallet.
The Vodafone mobile wallet will use NFC technology to send encrypted data over short distances to enable secure transactions, with customer protection assured by the use of the latest secure SIM card and payments industry technology. In addition to stored value accounts, it will also hold loyalty scheme points and gift voucher credits, complementing and sometimes replacing a whole class of plastic cards in the customer's wallet or purse.
All Vodafone mobile wallet services - including the service announced with Visa today - will be compatible with standards currently being ratified by the global mobile industry body, the GSM Association.
Vodafone is one of the world's largest mobile communications companies by revenue with approximately 398 million customers in its controlled and jointly controlled markets as at 31 December 2011. Vodafone currently has equity interests in over 30 countries across five continents and more than 40 partner networks worldwide. For more information, please visit www.vodafone.com
About Visa Europe
In Europe, there are 445 million Visa debit, credit and commercial cards. In the 12 months ending September 2011 those cards were used to make purchases and cash withdrawals to the value of €1.7 trillion. 14% of consumer spending at point of sale in Europe is with a Visa card, and almost 80% of that is on Visa debit cards. Visa Europe is owned and operated by more than 3,700 European member banks and was incorporated in July 2004. Visa Europe is independent of global Visa Inc., with an exclusive, irrevocable and perpetual licence in Europe, while both companies operate to ensure global interoperability. As a dedicated European payment system Visa Europe is able to respond quickly to the specific market needs of European banks and their customers - cardholders and retailers - and to meet the European Commission's objective to create a true internal market for payments.
Visa enjoys unsurpassed acceptance around the world. In addition, Visa/PLUS is one of the world's largest global ATM networks, offering cash access in local currency in over 200 countries. For more information, visit www.visaeurope.com
+44 (0) 1635 664444
+1 415 932 2564
+44 207 795 5291