Vendors Announce TSM, Mobile-Wallet Supply Deals with Vodafone
Vendors announced Monday they are supplying UK-based Vodafone Group with trusted service management services and mobile-wallet software, respectively, as the UK-based telco gears up for NFC commercial launches.
France-based Gemalto said it would serve as Vodafone’s “global” TSM, while U.S.-based CorFire announced it would provide mobile-wallet software to the group.
It wasn’t clear whether the TSM and wallet-software contracts cover all of Vodafone’s European branches. As NFC Times reported earlier, Gemalto’s contract for TSM services was believed to cover only Germany and the UK. The contract might have been expanded to other branches.
Gemalto didn’t have clearance earlier from Vodafone to announce the TSM deal. Under the contract, Gemalto will manage Vodafone's NFC SIM cards, creating and managing secure domains on the cards to store payment and other applications.
CorFire said its contract for the wallet software, which is also global, would enable Vodafone customers to “use their smartphones to conduct a number of transactions, including paying for goods and services at the point of sale during 2013.” The wallet software will enable NFC applications but also works with non-NFC mobile commerce services, said the vendor.
Vodafone last February announced a partnership with Visa Europe and said it planned to launch a Vodafone-branded NFC prepaid payment service in at least five European countries over the following 12 months, in the biggest announcement of its kind to date from a major operator group. The markets Vodafone said it planned to launch in were Germany, Turkey, the UK, the Netherlands and Spain.
But all five of Vodafone’s branches probably won’t hit that target date. CorFire reportedly said that service would start during the first quarter of 2013 in Germany and Spain, then move to other Vodafone branches in Europe. That could not be immediately confirmed. CorFire is the mobile-commerce business of SK C&C USA, which is part of South Korea-based SK C&C.
Vodafone Italy has also said it is planning to launch NFC payment and other services sometime in 2013.