Vodafone tests mobile commerce platform in New Zealand

Test launch of mobile commerce platform begins in New Zealand

Vodafone, a global telecommunications organization, is one of several companies in its industry that have been showing aggressive interest in mobile commerce. Consumers are becoming more involved in mobile technology, leading to a growing demand for a more convenient, tech-savvy form of commerce. Vodafone has been working to position itself as a leader in the mobile commerce sector by meeting this demand with its SmartPass platform. The company has recently begun a pilot test for the platform in Auckland, New Zealand, before an international launch later this year.

SmartPass leverages the power of NFC technology

The SmartPass is based on NFC technology and leverages NFC in order to facilitate mobile payments. The technology is quite common in the mobile commerce sector, forming the backbone for the majority of other platforms that could be considered competitors to SmartPass. The platform was developed with the help of Visa, which also has a vested interest in mobile commerce. The pilot launch of the platform is meant to expose consumers to mobile commerce and provide merchants with an effective way to engage mobile consumers.

Mobile Commerce VodafoneNFC-enabled devices still rare among consumers

Vodafone expects the pilot launch to last at least two months, hoping to solve some of the undiscovered issues that the SmartPass may have during that time. The company is aware of the low availability of NFC-enabled devices in the consumer market, but does not anticipate this to be a significant problem. SmartPass, like other NFC-based mobile commerce platforms, can only be used by NFC-enabled devices. These devices are becoming more common, but many consumers have shied away from mobile commerce because they are unwilling to purchase a new, expensive smartphone or tablet just to be able to make a mobile payment at a physical store.

SmartPass to function as mobile wallet

The SmartPass is not only able to facilitate mobile payments, of course, as it is also designed to function as a sort of digital wallet. The platform is capable of storing a variety of financial information that could be used by consumers at any given time. Like other platforms, SmartPass is also expected to keep track of special offers that consumers receive from merchants and the brands they are interested in.

Mobile payments software deployments just revealed by Isis

A number of software providers and payment terminal manufacturers have just agreed to integration.

According to an announcement from Isis, a number of new terminal manufacturers and software providers have now committed to integrate the Isis SmartTap mobile payments option into their own products.

This is considerable news as Isis has also recently revealed that it intends to launch nationwide this year.

The SmartTap protocol is only the latest of the proprietary mobile payments software specifications being used by this smartphone wallet service for leveraging NFC technology. These deployments are expected to cover a broad range of different offerings at the point of sale, according to Isis. This includes everything from unattended solutions such as vending, to point of sale terminals with high end integration.

Isis mobile payments users will be able to pay at a terminal or NFC reader that is supported.

Isis Mobile PaymentsWhen the SmartTap protocol is supported by a payment terminal or an NFC reader, it makes it possible for users of the Isis mobile payments wallet service to be able to pay for their purchases, redeem offers, and present loyalty cards within a single transaction, using a smartphone.

According to the Isis chief sales officer, Jim Stapleton, in a news release that was recently issued, “NFC is the international standard for mobile payments.” Stapleton added that “The proliferation of SmartTap capabilities at the point of sale takes mobile payments one step further, providing rich commerce features that offer an effortless consumer experience and drive engagement and loyalty in a way previously not possible.”

Providers that support the capabilities of SmartTap are making it possible to enable mobile payments and commerce in a broad spectrum of different environments, such as at gas pumps, public transit systems, vending machines, taxi cabs, supermarkets, retail stores, and restaurants.

Among the latest partners that are integrating the mobile payments capabilities of SmartTap into their product lines are On Track Innovations Global, Uniform Industrial Corp, PAX Technology, ID TECH, and XAC Automation corp. Those that have already integrated the capabilities into their point of sale offerings include VeriFone, Gilbarco Veeder-Root, Equinox Payments, Ingenico, and Wayne, A GE Energy Business.