Earlier this year, our award-winning Vodafone Wallet became the first service to offer contactless payments from a PayPal account and we continue to work with PayPal towards a rollout in Germany. In the meantime, Germany is playing host to another Vodafone Wallet development.
At the beginning of December, our German team launched a trial that has brought girocard to NFC smartphones for the first time thanks to Vodafone Wallet. In partnership with Volksbanken and Raiffeisenbanken – the second largest banking union in Germany with 30 million customers – Vodafone Germany is testing a digital girocard on NFC smartphones using the Vodafone Wallet app.
With more than 100 million customers, Girocard is Germany’s most popular payment card and is widely used for cashless payments in retail outlets across the country. According to market research institute GfK, around 95% of Germans own a girocard, and three-quarters of cardholders use it to pay for goods and services.
Around 120 participants in the trial have received a smartphone equipped with an NFC SIM and preinstalled with Vodafone Wallet. The digital girocard is securely stored in the phone’s secure element, and used to pay contactlessly at compatible payment terminals in the Kassel and Baunatal regions. Any purchases are made instantly and protected by worldwide NFC encryption standards.
Institutions like Volksbanken and Raiffeisenbanken are seeing the benefits of Vodafone Wallet as a secure carrier able to introduce mobile-based services without the need to invest in new hardware or systems. We are proud to work with them and to be able to offer our customers an increasing number of services through the Vodafone Wallet.