Vodafone UK introduced a new contactless payments service called Vodafone Pay, which enables customers to pay for goods and services using any debit or credit card as well as their PayPal accounts.
Vodafone Pay is a near field communications (NFC) payment service that essentially replaces the former Vodafone SmartPass application, and forms part of the Vodafone Wallet application that also includes vouchers and loyalty cards.
A Vodafone UK spokesperson told FierceWireless:Europe that it informed relevant customers around two or three weeks ago that SmartPass -- which has also been launched in other Vodafone markets -- was being withdrawn.
“SmartPass [a prepaid top-up application] was a legacy product developed with Visa,” the spokesperson said. “However, the technology has evolved considerably since then.”
Vodafone Pay uses an NFC-enabled SIM card in an Android mobile device and can be used for purchases up to £30 (€33/$37) without the need to enter a PIN. Purchases above that amount will require security details to be entered.
Vodafone customers are able to upload the details of any payment card into Vodafone Wallet and then use Vodafone Pay to make payments at around 400,000 places across the UK. The option to pay using PayPal accounts has also just been added because of customer demand for the service.
The service will essentially compete with Apple Pay and Android Pay, which has only recently arrived in the UK.
Vodafone UK appears to be unfazed by the competition.
“The technology is still evolving,” the Vodafone UK spokesperson said, noting that the growing availability of contactless payment services would help seed the overall market and drive the popularity of contactless payments services.
Apple Pay is now available in the U.S., the UK, Australia, Canada, China, France, Hong Kong, Singapore and Switzerland. Android Pay has been launched in the U.S., the UK, Australia and Singapore.
- see this Vodafone UK release
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