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Visa and Vodafone Partner to Roll Out Mobile Wallet

The partnership will eventually bring NFC-based mobile payments to Vodafone customers in more than 30 countries.

Mobile communications company Vodafone and payments network Visa have announced that they're teaming up to bring mobile payments to more than 30 countries. Together, the companies are developing a mobile wallet that will allow Vodafone customers to use their phones to make point-of-sale purchases through Visa prepaid accounts. The mobile wallet will use near-field communication (NFC) technology and Visa's payWave mobile payment technology to enable consumers to pay for purchases by waving their smartphone in front of a payment terminal.

Vodafone and Visa will roll out the new mobile payments service first in Germany, the Netherlands, Spain, Turkey and the United Kingdom over the next year, then to Vodafone customers in other countries. The companies say that the platform will be open to all partners in relevant industries -- such as financial institutions, retailers and utility companies -- to host their services within the new mobile wallet, which will also hold loyalty scheme points and gift voucher credits.

"Our partnership with Vodafone represents a huge stride forward for mobile payments," said Peter Ayliffe, CEO of Visa Europe, in a prepared statement. "Visa’s future of payments initiative is more than just a promise. These services are real, tangible and coming to the mainstream consumer market in the very near future."

[Click here to read about the latest news from Isis, another mobile payments venture connected with Visa.]

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