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Oyster Credit Card Mobile Phone is tested

O2 started to trial a phone which can be used as an Oyster card and a Barclays credit card at the same time.

500 Londoners (opens in new tab) will be provided with Nokia 6131 handsets during this six month Near Field Communication (NFC) technology pilot.

225 of them will also be provided with GBP 200 credit each which can be spent on purchases of less than GBP 10 where contactless technology has already been implemented.

Anything more would require a PIN to be typed in.

The consortium behind the project includes AEG, Barclaycard, Nokia, O2, TfL, Transys and Visa.

No roll out dates has been announced and it would take at least 12 months before commercial versions are released.

Such convergence however highlights the risks that might be incurred if the phone is stolen, lost, broken or simply runs out of battery.

O2 says that it would take (opens in new tab) only a single phone call to "cut the cord" for everything on the phone.

The Register (opens in new tab) mentions that secure storage on the Handset and even the O2 SIM card will be used to store financial transactions.

O2's NFC phone also raises the prospect of having your ID card grafted on your mobile phone as well.

The group also made it clear that customers would not be charged (opens in new tab) through their mobile account but could top up their Oyster account at train stations.

Contactless payments and transactions are already well established in countries like Japan, Korea and the US.

Désiré Athow
Contributor

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at ITProPortal.com where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.