Bloomberg News

New Zealand Mobile Phones to Become ‘Virtual Wallets’ in Venture

April 01, 2012

New Zealand mobile phone companies plan to form a joint venture to create an application that will allow people to use their devices as a “virtual wallet” in supermarkets and on trains.

Paymark Ltd., which processes three-quarters of New Zealand’s electronic card payments, will join forces with Vodafone New Zealand Ltd., 2degrees Ltd., and Telecom Corp of New Zealand Ltd. to create a “trusted service manager” that allows consumers to make secure payments, collect loyalty points and use public transport with their mobile phones, Paymark said in an e-mailed statement.

“Over the past decade, our mobile phone has swallowed our newspaper, our map and our camera to become an essential all-in- one device,” Eric Hertz, chief executive officer at Auckland- based 2degrees, said in the statement. “The logical next step is to make it even more convenient by having it swallow our wallet.”

The service, which plans to use near-field communications technology, will allow customers to make payments by holding an enabled phone close to a special terminal in stores and on trains or buses, according to the statement. Software inside the phone will send transactions over the banking network.

To contact the reporter on this story: Chris Bourke in Wellington at cbourke4@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Chris Bourke at cbourke4@bloomberg.net


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