Mobile payments, also known as mobile money and mobile wallet has been around for some time and it’s widely thought of as a huge opportunity with companies such as tech giants, banks and credit card companies all jockeying for position. Mobile payments is expected to be a $600 billion dollar market in 2013 which is approximately double what it was in Feb 2011. While the service has been around and has shown positive growth, it has not fully reached its potential yet, and all of the players are trying to change that.
Visa and Vodafone have just thrown down the gauntlet by partnering, bringing Vodafone’s 398 million person subscriber base across 30 countries together with Visa’s giant and successful payment network. The partnership, which is the biggest of its kind, combines two outstanding brands that are well known, have broad reach and are trusted.
The service will be branded as a Vodafone product and will be based on Visa’s prepaid account system. It will launch in Germany, Spain, the Netherlands, Turkey and the UK starting in the upcoming financial year. The plans call for additional roll-outs to follow. The two companies will work together to roll out the platform in all directions.
The service will work much like a Visa credit card by allowing consumers to wave their phone in front of a pay terminal or use NFC technology to make everyday purchases and will have the option of a passcode payment for larger purchases.
The benefits of the simplicity, speed and convenience of a mobile wallet are clear. It makes sense for consumers to be able to use their phone to pay for things and it’s a huge opportunity for companies to grow their business.
This powerhouse partnership is one to watch and might be the one that fuels extremely fast global expansion that many people have been looking for.