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Telefonica to launch mobile wallet by mid-2012

15 февраля 2012

Telefonica announced on Tuesday it is developing a virtual wallet platform in partnership with Sybase 365 that it plans to launch in Latin America and some European territories during the first half of 2012.

Called mWallet, the service is intended to provide "convenient and secure" access to a subscriber's payment cards in an effort to simplify online purchases. Telefonica said its virtual wallet will be able to store the details for prepaid, debit, credit, and loyalty cards. It will also be compatible with Near Field Communications (NFC) technologies, although NFC capability is not a mandatory requirement in order for the service to work.

"It's not NFC specific," a spokesman for the Spanish incumbent said in an email to Total Telecom.

"NFC is one way you could pay for something using your mobile wallet if it's on an NFC-enabled device," he explained. "But if it's not, you could still pay for something using your [m]Wallet," via the device's Web browser, for example.

He said that Telefonica wants the service to be as "open as possible" and that the operator will be working with banks to ensure customers can store their current account details on their mWallet.

"The mobile wallet lies at the heart of our financial services strategy and it is crucial that we deliver a strong, simple and secure user experience to our customers," Joaquin Mata, head of financial services at Telefonica Digital, said in a statement.

"Mobile commerce services are a fast developing global phenomenon," Matthrew Talbot, senior vice president of mCommerce at Sybase 365, added. "This is a great example of how mobile operators... with innovative technology built with the needs of the end customer in mind can extend mobile financial services to millions around the world."

However, consumers in the U.K. will not be able to open their mWallet any time soon.

"In the case of the U.K., it's important to note that Sybase is not our partner," said Telefonica's spokesman, reiterating its U.K. mobile division O2's commitment to the m-payments joint venture with Vodafone and Everything Everywhere. The joint venture, codenamed Project Oscar, also confirmed in December it was in talks to include 3UK.

Meanwhile Telefonica's two separate m-payment initiatives also lend credence to the view expressed by mobile payment specialist Monitise in January, which claimed m-payment platform fragmentation is inevitable.

Источник: Total Telecom

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