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Wireless provider Vodafone and payment brand Visa announced a partnership earlier this year aimed at rolling out a mobile wallet tool to a number of countries. Today, Vodafone Australia and Visa said they plan to launch an app for NFC-enabled mobile phones called the Vodafone SmartPass next year, the first product to come out of the partnership.
The SmartPass app will feature a prepaid account through the Australia and New Zealand Group that users can fund up to AU$200 ($207). SmartPass then applies the NFC technology on enabled phones at point-of-sale terminals to complete transactions using Visa's payWave standard. Transactions of less than AU$100 ($104) can be made by simply tapping the POS terminal — no PIN required.
To be eligible to use the mobile wallet, Vodafone subscribers must acquire a special NFC SIM chip for NFC-enabled phones. Vodafone said it expects that 80 percent of the smartphones it sells in Australia will be equipped to use the Smartpass mobile payment app.
Vipin Kalra, Visa's country manager for Australia, said the Australian market has the opportunity to be at the forefront of mobile payment services.
"We have a wide range of retailers accepting contactless, and we are continuing to see strong double-digit month-on-month growth in the number of Visa payWave transactions being made," Kalra said in a post on the company's blog. "This is a clear sign that consumers are willing to embrace innovation that makes their lives more convenient."
A video of the new offering from Visa is below:
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