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Verizon, Payfone partner for mobile payments

June 14, 2011

Mobile payments on the rise

Verizon Wireless has partnered with mobile payment processor Payfone that will allow the carrier’s customers to make online purchases from their smartphones, tablets and computers.

The partnership, which is planned to go live later this year, will allow Verizon to beef up its mobile payment offering, a recent example of which was the deal with USA Technologies to enable point-of-sale payments at vending machines via credit and debit cards. Payfone also recently used its mobile technology to work with American Express’ digital payments platform, Serve.

“Payphone’s goal is to drive the phone number as the universal way to pay for things from mobile devices by using secure networks, and this partnership with Verizon only furthers our belief,” said Rodger Desai, co-founder and CEO of Payfone, New York.

Verizon  is one of the nation’s leading carriers, serving 104 subsidiaries.

Payfone  authorizes and processes mobile payment transactions for merchants and carriers by leveraging carrier networks.

“When both solutions are fully deployed, our customers won’t need to make conscious choices about which payment method to use,” said Jeffrey Nelson, executive director of corporate communications at Verizon Wireless, Basking Ridge, NJ.

“This will occur automatically in an easy and secure transaction with one click on the phone,” he said.

Goods on payment
With this new partnership, Payfone hopes to prove that all ecommerce transactions will eventually become mobile commerce that consumers can participate in daily and while on the go.

“The phone number is the best, more secure and powerful way to pay online,” Mr. Desai said.

“Our partnership with Verizon will allow Verizon users to pay for things online by using secure routing sources, including saved credit card and phone billing information,” he said.

In response to security concerns, all payment information will be opt-in for customers.

The service will target specific merchants that already supply virtual, on-the-go goods for users with smartphones, such as transportation tickets and apps. In other words, the deal is good for digital goods.

“This technology coupled with the rising number of mobile users and platforms will take ecommerce to the next level,” Mr. Desai said.

Engaging technology
For Verizon, the partnership with Payfone is a step in the company’s Isis initiative, a joint venture between AT&T Mobility, T-Mobile USA and Verizon to build a mobile payment network.

Verizon claims that it has approached mobile payments from a customer’s perspective, with security, privacy and simplicity being the biggest goals.

“For our customers buying goods and services remotely, Payfone will act as the enabling technology,” Mr. Nelson said.

“When a customer uses their mobile phone to pay for goods and services in bricks-and-mortar stores, it will be an Isis-enabled experience,” he said.

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