Vodafone and Visa have announced a mobile payments partnership that will let the mobile operator's customers pay for goods and services directly from their phones using Visa's technology.
The service will be powered by near-field communication (NFC) technology to allow customers to make payments in shops and other locations directly from their phones, and will use secure SIM technology to ensure security, Vodafone said.
Vittorio Colao, the group chief executive of Vodafone, said the deal would bring several benefits as the firm looked to strike deals with other businesses to let customers use the service.
"The Vodafone mobile wallet [...] offers our customers the speed, simplicity and convenience of managing their everyday transactions with a single wave or tap of their smartphone," he said.
"Our mobile wallet will be open to any service provider and we are committed to enable all partners to provide our joint customers the richest service portfolio possible."
Ovum analyst Catherine Haslam said the partnership underlined the growing demand for mobile payment systems and that Visa's approach showed it was vital to ensuring this new market succeeds.
"In effect Visa is doing what it's been threatening to do for several years and expanding its traditional intermediary role in payments to mobile," she said.
"The fact it is also supporting non-Visa payments shows that the payments giant recognises that ubiquity is the key to success in mobile money systems."
The use of mobile payment systems is expected to rocket in the coming years with O2 also set to offer a mobile wallet services and Google attempting to integrate the technology into its Android operating system with its Google Wallet service.
Barclays Bank also entered the market with the launch of Pingit, which it said would allow users of Android, iPhone and BlackBerry devices to make payments between accounts, of both its own customers and those with other banks, directly from their phones.
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