Vodafone UK and PayPal offer NFC payments on Android

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Vodafone and PayPal have struck a deal to allow UK customers to make contactless payments with Android smartphones.

Customers can link their PayPal accounts to Vodafone Pay, within Vodafone’s Wallet app, to make purchases in the 400,000 UK venues that accept contactless payments.

The new service also works on Transport for London and National Rail services in and around London.

Purchases of up to £30 can be made at any contactless terminal. Bigger purchases can be made with use of a PIN. Customers can also add their Visa and MasterCard bank credit and debit cards to Vodafone Pay.

Purchases can be made when phones are switched off or out of battery, as the SIM uses Near Field Communications (NFC) to connect automatically to the contactless terminal, separately of the phone’s other functions. NFC SIMs are available to order for free from within Vodafone’s Wallet app, or from its other retail sites.

Notifications of purchases are sent to cardholders following each transaction, and can be tracked within the app. PayPal transactions are also logged in the customer’s PayPal account. New PayPal accounts can be opened from within the Vodafone Pay app.

Kate Wright, Head of Consumer Services at Vodafone UK, said: “Our customers told us that being able to use PayPal when making mobile payments was important to them so we’re delighted to now offer this on Vodafone Pay. The service also works with any Visa and MasterCard credit or debit card offering customers greater choice than any other mobile payment service.”

Rob Harper, Director of Mobile Commerce at PayPal UK, added: “Money is going digital, and the smartphone is at the centre of this transformation. Mobile payments have long been at the heart of what we do. As mobile technology continues to evolve, we will continue to look at new ways to make it easier and faster for our customers to pay.”

PayPal announced it would expand its One Touch payments service late last year, with 13 new countries earmarked for launch.

Meanwhile, Android-maker Google said in March it was trialling a hands-free version of its own Android Pay app, allowing consumers to buy things without their smartphone leaving their pocket.