Telefónica, Visa Europe ink strategic mobile commerce partnership

Telefónica and Visa Europe unveiled a strategic partnership that will see joint investments by both firms in a range of mobile commerce products and services.

This move, which comes only a day after Telefónica Digital announced a range of other strategic initiatives, means Visa Europe will become Telefónica's preferred mobile payments partner across the continent, according to a statement from the Spanish-based operator.

The agreement expands an existing m-commerce relationship between the two firms that covers the UK and Ireland, but will now ramp up to include other European countries together with the joint development of products and services around mobile wallet, NFC, acquirer services for mobile point-of-sale and merchant offers.

"Visa has been an important partner for a number of years in Europe, helping us to trial, test and ultimately launch mobile payments products," Joaquin Mata, director of financial services at Telefónica Digital, said in a statement. "This market has enormous untapped potential and through this partnership with Visa Europe we aim to unlock significant new business opportunities."

Earlier this year, Telefónica and others provided $35 million to m-payments platform developer Boku to help it fund the launch of point-of-sale transaction technology in physical stores, with payments being charged to the user's mobile phone bill.

New market research from Finaccord claims that nearly 80 per cent of the major telcos worldwide have one or more strategic initiatives regarding m-payments.

Edward Wilford, a consultant at Finaccord, told Finextra: "Mobile payments and banking as a market represents an opportunity for a lot of traditional competitors to co-operate to varying degrees. Several of the major joint ventures involve key payment companies and mobile operators working together to establish an open standard for the country or region."

For more:
- see this release
- see this Finextra article

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