Vodafone Australia, Visa to Launch Contactless Payments

Vodafone Australia and Visa said that they plan to launch Vodafone SmartPass in 2013 for near field communication (NFC) enabled smartphones, to allow contactless payments at stores with PayWave reader terminals.

Customers wishing to get the new app will need a special NFC subscriber identity module (SIM) from Vodafone with the secure element, containing prepaid account information used for the transaction.

The prepaid account is provided by the Australia and New Zealand Banking Group
(ANZ),
and is initially blank, without customer details. When a customer signs up for a prepaid account, they can enter a set of existing account details that they want to use to top up their prepaid account from, with the app allowing AU$20 to AU$200 to be topped up at a time. The app can also use the NFC chip to scan in new card details from cards with NFC chips.

Once the card is loaded with credit, the user presses the tap button in the app when they are near a payment terminal in order to transfer the money. Payments below AU$100 do not need to have a personal identification number (PIN) entered or a signature verified

Visa’s country manager for Australia, Vipin Kalra, said that a zero-liability policy applies, so any fraudulent transaction occurring as a result of the app is not charged to the account holder provided it is reported. Once a user has set up an account, they will be given a link to a portal where they can cancel their accounts and dispute transactions in the event that the phone is stolen.

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