Orange and Barclaycard to Bolster Mobile Payment Market

(09 Mar 2009, BWCS Staff)

France Telecom-backed UK mobile operator Orange has released details about a new wireless payment scheme it will operate with Barclaycard. The two companies claim the new system will be the "biggest revolution in payments since plastic cards were introduced over 40 years ago". Orange customers signing up for the service will be able to use their handset to pay for a wide variety of goods and services at selected retail outlets by simply waving their phone under a reading device.

Orange and Barclaycard say they will expand the service to include transport ticketing and also to offer regular users reward points. The service will also enable customers to control their bank accounts from their mobile phones.

In a report published late last year UK-based telecoms research company Juniper, claimed that the market for contactless payments from mobile phones will swell to US$600 billion globally within five years. In its Mobile Payments Study, Juniper said that by 2013 we would see a tenfold increase on the current market size. Its figures included the gross value of all items paid for by near-field mobile transactions.  

The research company argued that though today's mobile market today is largely dominated by the purchase of music and ringtones, there are three hugely important markets for contactless payments being made by mobile phone users in the future. These are: contactless NFC payments for small sums, such as transport fares; money transfers at banks and physical purchases for goods and services at point of sale via mobile devices.

Tom Alexander, Orange UK's CEO, evidently agrees with Juniper's general thrust, he said in a statement recently, "Today you pay for things by cash or on your credit card. Tomorrow, you'll use your mobile to buy the things you want, whether that's on the high street or the internet."


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