Global Mobile Technology leaders Vodafone and Gemalto (the world’s largest SIM card manufacturers) have joined forces to provide secure Free SIM card based NFC payments to customers around the world, in a multiple year contract between the two giants. This union will see the provision of an infrastructure that will deliver secure and trusted mobile transactions including payment by mobile contact and even ticketing. The security is provided by the SIM card, which is controlled by Vodafone, which means that the manufacturers or software providers will never have access to customers’ sensitive information.
Only Gemalto will have access to the software, which will be implanted in the Vodafone SIM card, this combination creates and manages a secure environment in which customers can take advantage of Near Field Communication (NFC) technology to make payments and other transactions on their mobile.
SIM card Data Security
However, this NFC SIM Card technology also facilitates a host of other customer benefits. Imagine all your loyalty card points, and access passes also being held and managed from your mobile. Of course, this will also be of benefit to Vodafone and an extra source of revenue to them and any advertisers who want the opportunity to wave its offers and services under customers’ noses. What Google wouldn’t give to be able to provide NFC on their Android devices and have awareness of all their customers’ loyalty and credit card information? Surprisingly Apple declined to install NFC capability into the iPhone 5, so they will be behind the operators and all of the latest Smartphones in this respect.
The likes of Vodafone will have the opportunity to elevate the simple SIM card into something more akin to a mobile wallet, as it has the ability to be switched between NFC enabled handsets as it carries all the customer data with it.
The network operators have spent years trying to offer the best value combinations of minutes, texts, and data, whether that’s on standard monthly contracts, PAYG Free SIM or SIM only. This move signifies that Vodafone will be able to take this battle to a new level, and use this new NFC SIM card to really differentiate itself from the competition. This move signifies a more strategic move to a new value add service that other operators can only aspire to. The service is currently being extensively trialled and should be made widely available globally by mid-2013.
AUTHOR BIO: Sheridan Carnell has worked in IT and mobile phone marketing for many years, most recently for Vodafone Free SIM and has a keen interest in technology. She currently writes insightful articles and expert review content for GizmoBird and other blog sites about interesting events and developments in the mobile world.