Barclaycard and Orange have announced that they will be working closely to bring mobile phone payments to a much bigger audience, after some timid trials in the past few years.
The deal means that Barclaycard users will be able to use their contactless mobile phones to pay for items as varied as sandwiches and ticketing under £10, simply by "waving" or swiping the card next to a receiver.
Barclaycard chief executive Antony Jenkins said that “This partnership brings together a leader in communications and the UK’s leading payments brand with the aim of revolutionising the way people pay".
Research by Analyst firm Informa Telecoms & Media showed that by 2013, around 300 billion mobile transactions will be performed with an average value of around £2 each. That's up from 250 million transactions last year.
Another study showed that around one in every eight people have used a contactless prepaid card. Barclaycard already has a standalone product called OnePulse which combines Oyster card with a credit card and a Contactless card in one.
Nokia trialled a Contactless-enabled phone back in 2007 which allowed users to use their phones to travel across the TFL network. The test was deemed successful but didn't have any followup since then.
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It is only a matter of time before NFC/Contactless technology becomes ubiquitous. Mobile phones could quite easily be equipped with NFC technology akin to a SIM card. More than 1.5 million contactless enabled cards have already been issued and with more than 10,000 contactless terminals at many retail outlets, its level of adoption can only grow from here.