Quick Tap system lets mobile owners use a handset for payments up to £15...
Barclaycard and Orange have launched the UK's first contactless mobile phone payments service.
The system - called Quick Tap - lets mobile users on the Orange network make purchases of up to £15 by tapping an NFC-enabled handset on one of the contactless readers installed in more than 50,000 stores around the UK.
The Quick Tap service has launched with just one handset - a version of the Samsung Tocco Lite, called the Samsung Tocco Quick Tap, available on pay monthly or PAYG, which has the Quick Tap app and contactless technology added. Barclaycard and Orange said more handsets will be launched in due course from a "selection" of mobile makers.
"This is the first time customers can use their mobile to pay for goods and services in shops across the UK rather than using cards or cash," said David Chan, CEO of Barclaycard Consumer Europe in a statement. "Having a wallet on my phone has made it much more convenient to make purchases on the move and I like that it allows me to keep track of what I'm spending as I go."
Pippa Dunn, Orange VP, added in a statement: "We no longer use our mobile phones simply for talking and texting - apps, cameras and music players allow us to use them for a lot more. So, making contactless payments with your mobile is a natural and really exciting innovation."
UK retailers that already accept contactless payments include food outlets such as EAT, Little Chef, McDonald's, Pret A Manger and Subway, and sports and entertainment venue Wembley Arena. Until now, these contactless readers have been able to process transactions from the 12.9 million contactless credit and debit cards in circulation - but this is the first time a contactless mobile has been added to the mix, Barclaycard and Orange said.
Quick Tap users must have either a Barclays debit card, Barclaycard or Orange Credit Card with which to load the contactless handset with money to make payments - up to £100 can be added. There is no provision for directly linking the handset to a debit or credit account. According to Barclaycard, consumer research has shown a "strong preference" for using the phone for payments - as consumers felt this gave them "more control and security over their money". It also means a Quick Tap user can switch between different accounts, rather than tying the phone to one card.
Money is loaded on to the Quick Tap app, which sits on the homescreen of the handset. The app can also be used to view transaction information. Users have the option of entering a PIN on their handset before each transaction to provide an added layer of security.
Barclaycard and Orange said the system has been "rigorously tested" to ensure customers' transactions and personal data will be protected and secure. The secure element for the contactless payments system is stored on the SIM, which the pair said improves security and provides a single point of contact for customer care. MasterCard is providing the payment capability for the contactless mobile transactions.
The two companies added that contactless mobile transactions are covered by the same fraud guarantee as standard Barclays and Barclaycard transactions nationwide.
While the contactless m-payments are currently limited to £15 per transaction, the two companies said they are working with the payment schemes to ensure future mobile payments will be able to exceed £15. For these larger payments, customers would be required to enter a PIN on their handset before each transaction is completed for "added security confirmation".
In addition to payments, the Quick Tap system can also be used to load data on to NFC-enabled stickers called tags, for quick access to data such as a web address or telephone number by tapping the relevant tag with the handset. Mobile users can create their own tags via a tag-writing app on the mobile.
Quick Tap is not the first contactless product created by Barclaycard and Orange - a contactless credit card was launched by the pair at the start of this year, after the two companies entered into a long-term strategic partnership for mobile payments in 2009.
In related news, O2 has announced financial services partners for its forthcoming mobile wallet - due to launch in the second half of this year. The mobile operator said FIS, Intelligent Environments, Visa Europe and Wave Crest have all been appointed to deliver the payments and processing systems on which the financial services products will be based.
Capabilities planned for O2's wallet include m-commerce, airtime top-ups, contactless NFC payments and peer-to-peer payments, O2 added.