Valyou – the mobile wallet flop
There has been talk of the mobile wallet service from Telenor, the largest mobile operator in Norway with 3.2 million subscribers, in cooperation with DNB, the biggest bank, since early 2013. By second quarter 2014 the service had a name, Valyou, and Telenor promised that it will reach the market in Q2 2014.
While not quite on target, the service reached the market in November 2014. Less than a year later, the company decided to wind down its services.
Valyou uses NFC, and was therefore only initially available for Android phones. At launch, only Samsung Galaxy was supported, which limited market penetration in a country where iPhones have a 30 per cent market share according to TNS Gallup InterBuss Q3/2013 .
Valyou was linked to DNB Visa debit cards, and the phone functioned like a contactless payment card. Other banks that were on schedule to be linked to Valyou by 2015 were Skandiabanken, Sparebank 1, yA Bank and Fana Sparebank.
To make the payment, the phone has to be held within 10 cm from the card terminal. The main supplier of payment terminals in Norway, Nets, says that 100% of their new terminals are NFC ready. Yet it estimates that of the Nets terminals in use in Norway as of May 2014, only about 25 per cent support NFC.
For Norwegians keen on a mobile wallet, the best bet might be to wait for Apple Pay, Android Pay and Samsung Pay.