Vodafone and Visa are set to launch a mobile wallet service in the UK next month.
This is not the first time the two companies have joined forces – having agreed a mobile payment strategy deal in 2012 – but this move will see Vodafone phones equipped with a special SIM card which includes near field communications (NFC) technology that can be used to swipe for payments at contactless tills.
Expected to be available only on Andriod devices, the announcement by Vodafone comes on the same day as Apple is expected to launch its own mobile wallet.
Mark Ritzmann, head of m-commerce at Vodafone, said that the maximum payment that can be made on the phone will be set at £25, for security reasons.
However, he did hint that the company is continuing to look for a PIN-protected way to make larger payments, adding that the smartphone “will start to replace the leather wallet”.
It has been suggested that Vodafone will allow people to pay for London Underground travel using the mobile wallet, as well as working with third-party loyalty card companies including Nectar.