Vodafone Australia wants to give its subscribers a better shopping experience through Vodafone Smart PASS. The contact-less payment system is similar to Google Wallet’s NFC-based service, although it is intended to be cross-platform, basically working on any NFC-equipped smartphone.
The app lets users pay at any store equipped with PayWave terminals. For added security, though, customers are required to secure a special NFC SIM card from Vodafone, which contains a secure element that holds prepaid account information. This prepaid account is serviced by ANZ, and can accommodate top-ups of anywhere from AUS$20 to AUS$200.
The prepaid account can be topped up from several sources, such as a credit card or bank account.
According to Vodafone Australia, the service will have some secure features, namely:
- Payments of over AUS$100 will require a PIN or verified signature to be entered, to ensure against misuse.
- The service also has a zero-liability policy, which means that fraudulent transactions will not be charged to the account holder.
- A user has access to a web portal where the account can be cancelled, or disputes can be filed.
- For additional privacy, transaction history is stored by a third party payment service called Rev, and not stored on the phone itself.
During the introduction of Smart PASS, Vodafone Australia used a Samsung Galaxy S3 to show the capabilities and features of the system. According to Vodafone Australia’s strategy and business development general manager Thomas Roets, the carrier intends for 80% of smartphones sold in 2013 to be NFC-enabled. This will suggest that the company will consider the iPhone 5 a major seller during this period, particularly due to its lack of NFC support.