Vodafone unveils new contactless payment options

Smartphone owners will be able to use Vodafone's new SmartPass service from the start of 2013.

Vodafone Australia has joined forces with Visa to put together the contactless payment facility, which will essentially allow people to complete small transactions simply by flashing their device against a point-of-sale scanner.

Purchases under $100 will not require any PIN verification or signatures and measures have been put in place to prevent fraudulent activity, ZD Net reports.

People with a handset that has near field communication (NFC) technology will be able to sign up to a prepaid account and Vodafone's business development manager Thomas Roets said 80 per cent of smartphones sold in 2013 would have this capability.

"Enhancements in smartphone technology will not only deliver us with a smarter way to shop, but will also make life a whole lot easier, saving us time and possibly even money," he was quoted as saying.

Some experts believe the rapid emergence of contactless payment options could soon spell the end of standard debit and credit cards.

Last week, the Australian Associated Press reported that PayPal would launch an app that enables people to pay for goods without using cash or cards.

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