SK C&C Co. (034730), a South Korean technology provider, said it will partner with Vodafone Group Plc (VOD) to introduce a mobile-phone payment service as the companies seek to tap demand for transactions without physical wallets.
CorFire, the mobile-commerce business of SK C&C's U.S. unit, will provide the technology under an agreement signed this month, the Seongnam, South Korea-based company said in a statement e-mailed to Bloomberg News. The service will start in the first quarter of next year in Germany and Spain before reaching other countries in Europe, according to the statement.
SK C&C is expanding in mobile payments after signing similar partnership agreements with Google Inc. (GOOG) and Dunkin Donuts Inc. over the past 18 months. More than 1 billion people may use mobile payments with almost $1 trillion in transaction value by 2016, according to IE Market Research.
Vodafone's new service will allow users to download "mobile wallet" applications to their smartphones and use them to pay, according to the statement. The Newbury, England-based carrier also plans to introduce apps that offer discount coupons and prepaid cards, according to the statement.
Vodafone has reached a deal to use smart-chip maker Gemalto NV's technology to manage a new mobile-phone payment product set for release next year, two people familiar with the plan said this month.
SK C&C last year agreed with InComm to introduce a technology that helps shoppers get coupons and pay for items on their phones.