Mobile network operator Vodafone is expanding the functionality of its mobile wallet beyond NFC with a deal to add Austria-based Bluesource’s Mobile-Pocket technology to the service, enabling customers to store hundreds of loyalty, membership, transit and promotional cards in their Vodafone wallet by simply scanning them in using the camera on their smartphone.
“The days of searching a bag or drawer at home for supermarket loyalty cards, paper coupons or gym membership identification are over thanks to a new mobile app available from Vodafone,” the carrier says. “Customers can now electronically load all their plastic cards straight into Vodafone’s mobile wallet located on their smartphone.”
The deal will see Bluesource providing the carrier with a Vodafone Wallet version of Mobile-Pocket, which currently has more than one million users. Customers will then be able to load their physical plastic cards onto their smartphone by either photographing both sides of the card with their smartphone camera or manually typing in the card number. At the checkout, they will then be able to bring up that merchant’s card from the app and show the cashier a single view of their card that displays both the front and the barcode on the back.
“Online templates already exist for a large number of loyalty cards from more than 1,500 leading service providers, including retailers, event organisers, transport companies and advertisers,” Vodafone explains. “If a user can’t find the card they want, they can create a new template on their phone.”
“This service is free of charge to use and will sit within the Vodafone mobile wallet. It will be progressively rolled out in countries where Vodafone has already launched its mobile wallet, starting in Germany, the Netherlands and Spain from this month with other countries expected to follow during this year.”
“Our customers want to take advantage of as many club, retail and membership offers as possible, but the number of plastic cards often exceed the capacity of their physical wallets,” says Stefano Parisse, Vodafone’s group consumer services director.
“Vodafone’s mobile wallet, when used with the mobile pocket app, removes that problem by allowing a user to load a limitless number of loyalty cards directly onto their phone. Participating retailers also benefit since they will be able to send vouchers and special offers directly to the Vodafone mobile wallets of their regular customers.”