Vodafone to introduce NFC capabilities to users through new partnership

Vodafone has struck partnerships with CorFire and Gemalto, in a bid to provide its subscribers with NFC capabilities.

Last week, mobile commerce company CorFire announced that it will provide mobile wallet capabilities to Vodafone from next year, enabling the network's customers to pay for goods and services through their smartphones.

Today, digital security firm Gemalto said that it will deliver and operate Vodafone's global Trusted Service Management platform and implement NFC service solutions, including "wave and pay" contactless transactions and "numerous new services that demand the highest levels of security and integrity," in a deal that will span several years.

CorFire's CEO, Dr Jae Chung, said, "Vodafone's customer base spans across more than 30 countries, which means our partnership may become one of the biggest, global implementations of NFC and mobile commerce. As a result of this collaboration, we will bring tangible benefits to consumers and pave the way for financial institutions, transit authorities, merchants, and enterprises to leverage the mobile channel to expand their customer reach."

On a similar note, Philippe Vallée, EVP of Telecommunications at Gemalto, stated, "With the experience of dozens of TSM deployments worldwide, Gemalto brings significant accumulated expertise from both the telecoms and banking sectors. Vodafone's project will benefit from Gemalto's robust solution portfolio and from our know-how in end-to-end mission-critical systems integration."

"We are committed to partnering with the best suppliers to offer customers the speed, simplicity and convenience of managing everyday transactions with a single wave or tap of their smartphones," said Christian Wirtz, Vodafone's director of mCommerce.

"The consumer benefits of contactless payments are obvious and the industry in Europe is now at the beginning of rolling out a contactless infrastructure. The potential of mobile to transform existing industries – such as financial services, retail and transport – is enormous," Wirtz added.

Bloomberg has reported that CorFire's Vodafone service will roll out during Q1 of next year, hitting Germany and Spain before other European countries. A date for the launch of Gemalto's corresponding product has not yet been provided, though the company defines it as the "first global NFC service."