Hot on the heels of the exciting news that Everything Everywhere has been given the green light to roll out the 4G network, we learn that the company has also signed an agreement with Mastercard to bring us a contactless NFC payment system in the UK.
Everything Everywhere is the biggest mobile operator in the UK, a partnership between Orange and T-Mobile. The carrier has over 27 million customers and the five-year plan with Mastercard will bring them the opportunity to use their smartphones to pay for goods and services. First on the agenda is a digital wallet system that allows people to pre-pay money into an account which they can then spend via NFC-enabled handsets. That means greater convenience, because the technology allows you to simply tap your phone at an NFC reader in order to pay.
Orange’s Quick Tap system already helps Barclaycard customers to tap their cards at NFC readers for contactless payments and Mastercard is the company providing that technology.
Mastercard says 100,000 retailers in the UK can already accept NFC payments. It has also promised to help small businesses currently concerned about the high cost of adopting NFC equipment.
Other features that the companies intend to add include the ability to pay for goods or services directly from your bank account, without the need to pre-pay, and also the ability to transfer money directly to another person. Both features are part of the five-year plan.
There are several rival services expected to launch soon on the market: O2 Wallet app, Barclay’s Pingit app, and a few other services on the horizon from PayPal, Visa, and Google.
The digital wallet battle is well and truly on and, just like in the 4G network race, Everything Everywhere looks to have a head start.