Orange and Barclaycard make NFC mobile payments a reality

Orange and T-Mobile customers will soon be able to ditch their wallets by turning their mobile phone into their cash card, after Everything Everywhere, the parent company, announced a new deal with Barclaycard.

The companies will launch the UK’s first commercial contactless mobile payments service, to be rolled out by Everything Everywhere and Barclaycard by early summer - before July.

The new service will offer consumers greater convenience and control on the high street with over 40,000 stores ready to accept contactless payments.

“This is the beginning of a revolution in how we pay for things on the high street. It’s a cultural shift that is as important as the launch of the personal credit card or ATMs,” said Gerry McQuade, chief development officer of Everything Everywhere, who is clearly excited by the news of the deal. “We’re making something that’s been talked about for many years a reality and very soon, using your mobile to buy a sandwich, a cinema ticket or in time, even something bigger like a computer will simply be the norm.”

However, the company remained coy as to which handsets the service will work on when Pocket-lint asked. It currently leaves the Google Nexus S, launched in December 2010, as the only handset that currently works with the new service.

It's something that's likely to change though, with a bevy of new NFC-compatible devices set to launch at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona next month.

Orange has told Pocket-lint that it is working with the world’s leading handset manufacturers and that we expect the choice will be far greater than just one device when it comes to launch day later in the year.

Recently, Sony Ericsson said that it was refraining from launching a NFC-ready handset because of a lack of infrastructure in the UK and Europe. Answering those concerns, Orange and Barclaycard have said that customers will be able to use their mobiles to pay for goods and services at more than 40,000 retailers using contactless technology, by simply waving their mobile phone against a contactless reader when the service goes live.

“The new contactless mobile payment technology has been developed to ensure customers’ transactions and personal data will be protected and secure. The launch proposition will focus on an industry backed, SIM-based approach to payments ensuring enhanced security for customers, as well as to initially provide a single point of customer care contact. MasterCard will provide the payment capability for the contactless mobile transactions,” the two said in a statement.

There are currently 11.6m contactless credit and debit cards already in circulation, of which, over 10m have been issued by Barclaycard and Barclays.