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Hello NFC: Vodafone Rev Up M-Payments

The future of mobile, that is.

Near Field Communications (NFC), which basically allows you to pay for good with a swipe of your Android, will now be offered by a Vodafone SmartPass app, launching early 2013.

It is the first telco to offer the service.

You can get the smart, cash -free mobile payments via Vodafone’s new NFC-SIM and downloading the SmartPass app.

However, it will require a NFC compatible smartphone to work properly – there are currently just three offered by Voda – including Samsung’s Galaxy SIII, HTC’s One X and Sony’s Xperia Sola, but sadly lacking on the iPhone 5.

Samsung Galaxy SIII will come with Vodafone SmartPass app preloaded from next year.

To activate, register for a ‘virtual’ Visa reloadable prepaid card using the Vodafone SmartPass app, and pre-load funds from your Visa or MasterCard payment card, and you can use your mobile to pay for anything from food to big tickets items, travel, loyalty or gift vouchers, by just waving it at the pay machine now found in most OZ retailers.

The “game-changing” mobile application shrinks the contents of our pockets and makes for stress free shopping, the duo said today in a blog.

“In the fashion of a Visa payWave card; Vodafone SmartPass relies on contactless, Near-Field-Communication technology to process transactions securely via the Visa network, direct from your smartphone, fast.”

ANZ will be providing the virtual Visa prepaid card and it’s also the bank for loading funds but you dont have to be an ANZ customer; as long as your a Mastercard or Visa holder you can use the app.

“NFC is fast-becoming the “it” feature for smartphones, and for very good reason,” and NFC payments are set to hit $110 billion in 2015, said Thomas Roets, Vodafone General Manager of Strategy and Business Development.

“As early as next year, customers with NFC-enabled smartphones will be able to leave their wallets at home and pay for a morning coffee, an evening out with friends, or groceries, with their handset.”

Vodafone says it will bolster its range of NFC smartphone  in 2013 and say 80% of smartphones it will offer on contracts will have NFC technology.

“Vodafone SmartPass offers a simple, secure and convenient way for Australians to pay at hundreds of thousands of stores that already accept contactless payments,” said Visa Australia boss, Vipin Kalra.

The Vodafone SmartPass solution has been built in close collaboration with Visa, Vodafone, ANZ and Rev and is part of the world’s largest mobile payments partnership.¬†