Everything Everywhere (the name of the new merged Orange and T-Mobile companies) has announced that it is going to integrate contactless payments into mobile phones, and launch a payment service (in conjunction with Barclaycard) in Q2 2011. Of late we’re heard that some mobile phone vendors are secretly (or openly) including NFC capabilities into new mobile phones, and it looks like EE plans to take advantage of these and allow the mobile phone NFC to be used for contactless payments. This comes on the back of McDonald’s announcing it will be rolling out contactless payment support this year too.
It looks like 2011 may be the year that the idea of mobile phone payment systems truely take off. The EE solution is being produced in conjunction with Gemalto, who will produce (presumably) new SIM cards with both the SIM and the payment capabilities on the same chip, allowing the phone to provide two functions.
Orange also stated they are planning an Orange Cash card, which will be a pre-paid contactless payment card. In London, there has been a good take up of contactless payment machines, especially useful for sandwich shops; imagine having the ability to buy your lunch by simply waving your phone near the till! In terms of the current 40,000 machines, they are located at places such as EAT, Pret a Manger, Little Chef, and will soon roll out at Co-Op stores. In fact, one of my local take-aways already supports contactless payments on their credit card machine, so I expect even more places to support it throughout 2011.
Having said that, there is one problem with the current implementation; in my local takeaway, having been told the amount to pay, I could happily insert my chip’n’pin credit card whilst they entered the amount and then I could enter my PIN; since they upgraded to the new machine, I have to wait until the amount has been entered and the machine will then and only then accept the credit card being inserted; so we’ll all have to get used to paying a bit more attention to the process.
This is the sort of integrationhas always supported; bringing different technologies together to make a better experience. More news later in the year as EE prepare to roll out the solution.
Picture courtesy of Orange UK.