Phone retailer Orange and transaction services firm Barclaycard have today launched the UK’s first contactless mobile payment service, allowing customers to make purchases on the UK high street with their mobile handsets.
Some 50,000 food and retail outlets nationwide, such as fast food specialists Pret a Manger, Subway and McDonalds, and general merchandise retailer Wilkinson, will accept the new form of payment.
Dubbed ‘Quick Tap’, the technology allows shoppers to buy goods up to £15 just by tapping their phone against a payment reader.
The contactless technology has been launched on Orange’s Samsung Tocco Lite, but more manufacturers are expected to add this function to their handsets in the coming months.
David Chan, CEO of Barclaycard Consumer Europe, said: “This is the first time that customers can use their mobile to pay for goods and services in shops across the UK rather than using cards or cash.
“They’ll be able to do this, safe in the knowledge that this is a secure technology brought to them by the biggest names in payments and mobile technology.”
Mobile contactless payment is the natural step forward following the launch of this technology via cards, and it comes at a time when smartphones are becoming increasingly ubiquitous in British society.
A recent study from eDigitalResearch and online business consultancy Portaltech found that the number of people who have bought goods via m-commerce sites on their smartphones grew a impressive 20 per cent between June 2010 and March 2011.
Meanwhile O2 Retail and Carphone Warehouse have both reported recently that sales of smartphones have driven growth in the last year.
Pippa Dunn, Orange Vice President, said: “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 which we’re pleased to be leading on in the UK.”