Sweden’s four largest operators – Telia, Tele2, Telenor and 3 – have launched a mobile wallet joint venture dubbed WyWallet. The venture is equally owned by all four operators and will be available this summer.
The partners claim the service will be available to 97 percent of the country’s mobile users and enable services such as person-to-person money transfer, online shopping, topup of prepaid cards, and paying for SMS-based services like public transport, ticketing and voting.
WyWallet also supports point-of-sale payments using NFC and live tests in shops start next week. WyWallet is available at launch on Android, iPhone and Java platforms and will be extended to Windows Phone later this year. They selected two vendors that are both Swedish, PayEx and Accumulate, to supply the technology and services for the mobile wallet.
Some countries have followed the same inclusive approach as Sweden, including Denmark, Hungary and the Netherlands. Elsewhere, mobile payment ventures have not included every major operator, for instance in the UK, Germany and the US.
A big jump in mobile payments is expected, but not with NFC in the U.S., reports ComputerWorld.
Mobile payments will reach $171 billion globally in 2012, a 62% increase over last year’s total of $105.9 billion, according to research firm Gartner. That increase corresponds with a 32% rise in mobile payment users expected this year. The number of users is expected to hit 212 million users, up from 160.5 million in 2011.
Mobile payments have been popular for years in Japan and South Korea, primarily for transit rides and small retail purchases, using Near Field Communication (NFC) technology. But NFC usage is still low in the U.S. and Europe, partly because relatively few smartphones.