O2 to Launch UK NFC Payment Service

NFC payments have been the source of a lot of buzz in the mobile phone industry in the last couple of months, and it look like O2 will be the first of the UK networks to get their offering out there.

O2 will shortly be an authorised Electronic Money Institution so rather than having to partner up with a bank, O2 will be able to go it alone. Well almost, they will be working with Visa and few other companies to complete the chain from phone to bank account, but banks won’t be getting their usual slice of the action.

O2 may be the first, but they definitely won’t be the only ones rolling out some sort of NFC payment system. Google are backing the technology and every other phone network must surely be watching so it’s safe to say that this is going to get very competitive very quickly.

The only big name not to have laid out their stall so far is Apple, but that’s no surprise as they are usually secretive about new products. I wouldn’t be at all surprised if the iPhone 5 featured NFC, but I would be equally unsurprised if Apple launched a totally incompatible proprietary system.

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