Three of the leading U.K. wireless operators are partnering in an effort to hasten the use of mobile payments which will permit consumers to use their mobile phones and other devices to pay for purchases.
The joint venture is among Vodafone, Orange and T-Mobile, and Telefonica’s O2. They will be working together to develop a system of mobile commerce that should bring banks, retailers, and advertisers together.
There have been discussions over the last few years about near field communications (NFC) which would provide consumers with a secure method of using their mobile devices over very short distances in order to make payments for purchases. Though this didn’t go anywhere for a long time, it has now become widely used in South Korea and Japan, and developing nations are beginning to use m-commerce quite commonly.
Though NFC payments and m-commerce has yet to truly take off in the United States, larger companies – such as Google – are starting to turn their heads toward it, and place their weight behind it.
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In May, 2011, Google made the announcement that it would be working alongside Citigroup, MasterCard, and First Data in order to develop and offer a mobile payment system. The idea is to offer a mobile wallet, where credit card information, as well as other information that is usually contained in a physical wallet, such as rewards points cards and driver’s licenses, will all be contained within the Google digital wallet.
The pilot programs for these companies will begin this summer in selected cities through the new service called Sprint Nextel.