First NFC enabled iPhone prepaid mobile wallet launches in Europe
A new near field communications (NFC) mobile wallet for the iPhone 4 and 4S has launched in the UK, and it will soon be made available for iPhone 5 and Android devices.
Named moneto, the NFC wallet comes from a partnership between MasterCard, Kalixa Group and DeviceFidelity, and was launched in the UK today. The prepaid wallet for transaction below £20 enables NFC functionality on an iPhone, allowing users to tap and pay for goods at thousands of MasterCard retail outlets across the country.
The service will soon be compatible with Android mobile phones, and is set to be rolled out across other European countries in the coming months.
moneto integrates NFC technology into a consumer's mobile phone using the DeviceFidelity patented microSD NFC technology and combines it with an application to offer the convenience, control and flexibility of prepaid in a secure and mobile environment.
Users can access account information on the move, check their balance in real time, locate merchants and ATM's and, unique to moneto, make wallet-to-wallet transactions.
The wallet is prepaid so users have total control over how much money they load and spend with the ability to manage their account on the move using the mobile application, and is accepted wherever the user sees a MasterCard PayPass logo or the contactless acceptance symbol around the world. Users can switch back to chip and PIN transactions if they wish to make contactless payments above the £20 threshold through the Chip and PIN prepaid companion card.
Additionally, the wallet works irrespective of the user's mobile operator. The companion EMV prepaid MasterCard allows users to withdraw cash at ATMs, make online purchases and shop at retail outlets that do not accept contactless payments.
In addition to the high levels of security afforded by NFC, the user needs to activate the wallet to make a payment, reducing the risk of unauthorised payments in the event the device is lost or stolen. Furthermore, the wallet is not directly connected to the user's bank account, which means there is no danger of someone getting access to a consumer's funds
'The UK is one of the fastest growing prepaid markets in the world and is a leader in terms of NFC and contactless acceptance at the point of sale. By enabling iPhone users to make smart, simple and secure NFC transactions we are taking an enormous step towards making mobile money an everyday reality for consumers,' said Ed Chandler, CEO of Kalixa Group. 'moneto is an example of how Kalixa is working with leading industry players like MasterCard and DeviceFidelity to make people's lives better through innovative payment services.'
Added Philippe Marineau, VP of business development, Europe, DeviceFidelity: 'We are excited to deliver the first ever NFC mobile payment service to iPhone users in the UK. moneto is a truly versatile solution that brings ground breaking innovation to payments by incorporating plug and play NFC functionality with MasterCard PayPass technology for the ultimate integration of mobile money.'
While Marion King, UK and Ireland president at MasterCard, said: 'Momentum behind NFC technology continues to gather pace around the world, and moneto is a breakthrough service for the European market. Soon consumers across Europe will be able to use the moneto wallet to make NFC payments with an iPhone. The service is an important part of our strategy to develop the next generation of payments for a world beyond cash.'
moneto is powered by the issuing, processing and acquiring technology that is behind Kalixa's flagship prepaid MasterCard, Kalixa Pay. The wallet also uses a combination of the MasterCard PayPass technology and DeviceFidelity's iCaisse technology to enable tap & go payments on the iPhone.
Android and iPhone 5 compatibility, as well as service roll outs to other European markets, will be announced soon. From today, iPhone 4 and 4S customers can order the service directly.