Vodafone to launch new mobile commerce application in 2013
Vodafone Australia, one of the country’s leading mobile network operators, has teamed with Visa to launch the Vodafone SmartPass, which will be available to consumers next year. Vodafone has taken note of the growing interest Australian consumers are showing in mobile commerce and is taking steps to provide consumers with new service that align with the demands of customers. Visa is also keen to meet the rising demand for mobile commerce and has been working to develop a platform that consumers can use to make payments with their smart phones.
Application allows for mobile purchases
The Vodafone SmartPass is a mobile application developed for the Android platform. The application allows users to make purchases using the financial information associated with a prepaid account. Though the Vodafone SmartPass can access the information associated with this account, the application does not create the account itself. Consumers will need to attain an NFC-enabled SIM card from Vodafone in order for the application to work properly.
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NFC SIM card adds extra layer of security
The NFC SIM card contains a blank account that can be filled with cash from consumers. This is meant to add an extra layer of security to the platform, addressing some of the concerns consumers have had recently regarding the overall safety of mobile commerce. The prepaid account is not capable of drawing money from an existing bank account. As such, consumers will need to manually refill their accounts if they make regular purchases, or they can set up a specific date when their account will be filled automatically, per approval.
Scarcity of NFC-devices may slow growth of mobile commerce
Minor purchases can be made with a simple wave of a smart phone, while larger purchases will require additional authorization. Vodafone and Visa expect that mobile commerce will continue to generate hype and become a more popular practice amongst consumers. NFC-enabled mobile devices are still rare, however, so the growth of mobile commerce may be slowed until these devices become more available to consumers around the world.