One day after we reported on Telefónica’s mobile billing partnership with Facebook, Google, Microsoft and RIM, the Spanish communications giant has announced a “strategic relationship” with Visa Europe, which will see the finance firm become its preferred mobile payments’ partner across the continent.
The partnership is geared towards driving new m-commerce business across Telefónica’s European operations. Both companies will be co-investing and developing products and services around mobile wallet, contactless payments (NFC), acquirer services for mobile point-of-sale, and merchant offers.
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The agreement builds on Telefónica and Visa Europe’s existing relationship in markets such as the UK and Ireland, and will seek to expand this to a Europe-wide level. This will see Visa become Telefónica’s preferred partner for branded payments cards in Europe, and related mobile payment services.
Back in March, mobile payments platform Boku secured a whopping $35m in funding from Telefónica Digital and a host of other investors, to help it launch point-of-sale (POS) transaction technology in physical stores, with payments being charged to the user’s mobile phone bill. So this is clearly an area Telefónica is betting big on.
Telefónica has already launched a mobile wallet service to customers in the UK, under its local O2 brand, and has confirmed that it’s working to launch mobile wallets across its other markets. The relationship with Visa Europe will let Telefónica access expertise within the network of Visa’s partner companies.
“Visa has been an important partner for a number of years in Europe, helping us to trial, test and ultimately launch mobile payments products,” said Joaquin Mata, Director of Financial Services at Telefónica Digital. “This market has enormous untapped potential and through this partnership with Visa Europe we aim to unlock significant new business opportunities.”