The Payfone-powered service will let Verizon's customers pay with one click via a credit card for physical items or via Verizon's billing channels for digital goods like music or online books. The companies say they're focusing on simplicity, flexibility and security, including pre-authorization and authentication as part of the platform.
Verizon says the service will be complementary to the mobile payments offerings that spring from Isis, its joint venture with AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T), T-Mobile US Inc. , Barclays and Discover. The JV is working on building up the payments ecosystem before it launches and is reportedly in talks with Visa to bring Near-Field Communications (NFC)-enabled mobile payments to market in 2012.
Why this matters
With the level of interest in mobile payments and NFC at an all-time high, time to market is critical. That's especially true as Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) is teaming up with Sprint Corp. (NYSE: S) to trial a Mobile Wallets service and just last week, Visa acquired South African startup Fundamo to build a mobile payments service in emerging markets.
Verizon's new service with Payfone doesn't get into NFC, but it shows that the carrier is serious about having a well-rounded mCommerce portfolio and isn't waiting on Isis to make a move.
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— Sarah Reedy, Senior Reporter, Light Reading Mobile