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17th June 2011

UK mobile operators group form another new NFC joint venture

Telefonica, the parent of O2, Vodafone and Everything Everywhere, the parent of Orange (UK) and T-Mobile UK, have joined together to form a new joint venture company that "will deliver the technology required for the speedy adoption of mobile wallet and payments."


The announcement states that the JV hopes to launch a new service before year end. It does however point out that this will be subject to clearance from the competition commission, and possibly from the European Commission also.


The group has high ambitions stating: "This (new service) will enable consumers to transfer their entire physical wallet into a new secure, SIM-based wallet regardless of which NFC enabled mobile device, or mobile network they are using. Companies and organisations that provide anything from credit, debit and loyalty cards to membership cards and transport tickets will be able to create secure mobile versions of their products. Consumers will be able to use their mobiles to pay for goods, services and travel using contactless technology (NFC) with one touch of their phone, or online via mobile or PC. . . . For consumers, the JV means that they will be able to receive discounts and offers from brands that are relevant to them and that they want to receive."

Previously Everything Everywhere and O2 announced they were working on a contactless Payment venture. Also O2 announced a mobile wallet and contactless payment joint venture with FIS, Wave Crest, Intelligent Environments and Visa Europe. Orange, now part of Everything Everywhere also operates the Quick Tap service with Barclaycard allowing contactless payment. The two were recently said to have plans for further joint services.