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.
NFC-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.