Vodafone SmartPass launches in the Netherlands

Pan-European mobile payments partnership goes live in its third market after Spain and Germany – with the UK to follow later this year

Thursday 27 March 2014: Today Vodafone and Visa launched the Vodafone Wallet and Visa SmartPass service in the Netherlands, the third European market to see the benefit of the wide-ranging partnership announced by the two companies in 2012.

SmartPass is the first service to offer consumers in the Netherlands the chance to make secure, easy contactless payments using their mobile phone. The service will work on any contactless payment terminal in Europe that displays the V PAY logo. Users will also be able to transfer money to each other’s SmartPass accounts using the service.

The Vodafone SmartPass payment service has been developed with Visa and is based on a prepaid Visa solution. For transactions under €25, customers can pay easily and conveniently by simply touching their mobile phone to a contactless terminal showing the V PAY logo. For transactions over €25 the customer will be invited to enter a passcode to verify their purchase.

Mary Carol Harris, Director of Mobile, Visa Europe, said: “We are delighted to be launching the third SmartPass service with our partner Vodafone. Together we are driving the availability of mobile payments services for consumers across Europe. This follows on from the momentum we are gathering from launches in Spain and Germany, with more to come over the course of the year. With contactless payments also soaring, we are finally in a position where the foundation for mobile payments at scale is in place to bring these services to consumers.”

Rob Shuter, CEO of Vodafone Netherlands, said: “Within five years we anticipate that Dutch people will use their phone as their primary payment device. Today, we have taken an important step in making physical wallets superfluous, which is one of our driving ambitions for the future.”

Vodafone customers with a compatible NFC-enabled handset that has been certified for the SmartPass service will be able to sign-up to SmartPass through an easy in-store process. Customers without a supported NFC handset are given the option to attach a Visa contactless microtag (NFC sticker) to their mobile device, which will enable the service. The SmartPass service also includes a physical companion V PAY card which can be used to make payments in stores that do not currently have a contactless terminal.

Vodafone plans to substantially expand its Vodafone Wallet service in the future to include services such as public transport tickets, e-tickets, contactless keys (for example to an office or hotel room) and many others.

SmartPass and the Vodafone Wallet service will launch in the UK later this year.

About Vodafone Libertel B.V.

Vodafone Netherlands is the second largest mobile telecommunications company in the Netherlands, with regard to turnover and profitability; the company had 5.3 million customers as of 31 December 2013. The head offices are located in Amsterdam and Maastricht, and there are offices in Eindhoven, Capelle aan den IJssel and Bodegraven. Vodafone Netherlands is part of the Vodafone Group, one of the world’s largest mobile telecommunications companies with regard to turnover, with 419 million customers as of 31 December 2013. Vodafone currently has holdings in share capitals in more than 30 countries, spread over 5 continents and approximately 50 partner networks worldwide. For more information, please visit www.vodafone.nl and www.vodafone.com.

About Visa Europe

Visa Europe is a payments technology business owned and operated by member banks and other payment service providers from 37 countries across Europe.

Visa Europe works at the forefront of technology to create the services and infrastructure which enable millions of European consumers, businesses and governments to make electronic payments. It is not a credit card company, almost 80% of its business is on debit cards, and its members are responsible for issuing cards, signing up retailers and deciding cardholder and retailer fees.

Visa Europe operates a high volume, low cost business model that provides services to its members. Its surplus is reinvested into the business and used to improve capital and reserves. In the last six years, Visa Europe has invested over €1 billion in new technology and infrastructure.

There are 470m Visa cards in Europe while €1 in every €6.75 spent in Europe is on a Visa card. Almost 80% of Visa Europe's business is on debit cards and, in the year to December 2012, over €1 trillion (1.05tr) was spent on Visa debit cards. Annual online spending on Visa cards in Europe topped €200 billion (€212bn) for the first time in this period and now accounts for more than 20% of Visa Europe’s processed business.

Since 2004, Visa Europe has been independent of Visa Inc. and incorporated in the UK, with an exclusive, irrevocable and perpetual licence in Europe. Both companies work in partnership to enable global Visa payments. As a dedicated European payment system Visa Europe is able to respond quickly to the specific market needs of European banks and their customers - cardholders and retailers - and to meet the European Commission’s objective to create a true internal market for payments.

For more information, please visit visaeurope.com and follow us on Twitter: @VisaEuropeNews.