Orange to roll out mobile payments

by PYB James | Jan 27, 2011

Mobile operator Orange is to implement the first payment system controlled exclusively by mobile phones.

Anticipating the 2012 Olympics, the scheme, called Everything Everywhere, is run in conjunction with banking and payments firm Barclaycard.

The scheme will run from summer 2011, and companies that have taken up the technology include cafe chain Pret A Manger and the National Trust.

Near Field Communication, as the technology is called, uses a low-level wireless signal to transmit payment. O2 trialled a similar scheme in 2009 on the London Underground.

The technology can already be used with contactless credit and debit cards from Barclaycard; there are already some 11.6 million in circulation.

Though the payment limit is £15 currently, owners of a contactless mobile will be able to use them in many different places.

Everything Everywhere payment director Jason Rees stated, “studies show that people are more likely to forget their wallets than their mobile phones. Trials have proved that customers love it, they love the simplicity of having their wallet all in one place and it means there is no more need to carry cash.”

Though the technology is currently limited to Orange customers, many other companies, such as Apple and T-Mobile, are thought to be adopting NFC in future models.

Many believe that the technology will soon become ubiquitous. Think-tank Juniper Research has released a study showing that 1 in 6 mobiles will be contactless by 2014, and the UK Payments Council has stated that by 2050 paying by cash will be “a minority activity.”

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