Operators collaborate on m-wallet venture

The UK’s three biggest operators on Thursday launched a standalone m-commerce joint venture designed to provide a single contact for advertisers, marketing partners, retailers and banks to create m-commerce products and services. Cashing in on the m-wallet phenomenon, the will target companies and organisations that provide anything from credit, debit and loyalty cards to membership cards and transport tickets, allowing them to create secure mobile versions of their products.

Consumers will be able to use their mobiles to pay for goods, services and travel using NFC contactless technology, or online via mobile or PC. Naturally, offers and coupons will be delivered direct to consumers’ phones, while companies will have a single touch point to book advertising space and create campaigns as well as provide these offers.

The JV, which is formed and funded by Telefónica UK (O2), Vodafone, and Orange and T-Mobile parent Everything Everywhere, is subject to competition clearance and is aiming to launch before the end of the year.

The operators will maintain their place in the value chain by making sure the secure element is SIM-based, so it can be used regardless of which NFC enabled mobile device, or mobile network they are using.

The move is in keeping with a major industry trend and follows similar announcements from Barclays, Orange and Google, and Frederic Huet, MD of Greenwich Consulting, believes that by next year, everybody could potentially be using their ‘digital wallet’ to pay for their goods and services.

The main hiccup is the lack of NFC-enabled devices on the market. But “as soon as handset manufacturers begin releasing NFC-enabled devices, demand will soar and innovative services will soon emerge, linking loyalty cards, couponing and digital money,” said Huet.

Tags: ,

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


There are no upcoming events.


Do you agree public funding should be used to support mobile operators to more broadly deploy Open RAN?

Loading ... Loading ...