MASTERCARD yesterday announced a five year deal with the UK’s biggest mobile phone operator Everything Everywhere to develop contactless mobile phone payment systems for the network’s 27m customers.
The duo will kick off the deal by launching a pre-paid digital wallet, allowing customers to transfer money from a bank account to a mobile phone for use in micro payments at more than 100,000 eligible shops across the country.
The partnership is also set to roll out a variety of other services, including person-to-person money transfers and loyalty rewards at shops where payments are made. Plans to help boost the capability of small retailers to accept contactless payments in the future are also on the cards.
MasterCard UK & Ireland president Marion King said: “There is no doubt the smartphone is taking over various capabilities so it’s quite logical that it will become the dominant mechanism for payment in the future.”
The deal builds on a previous partnership between the two firms which saw the launch of an Orange cash pre-paid card and contactless payment system in 2011.
Everything Everywhere chief marketing officer Gerry McQuade said the pre-paid mobile service would let customers use their mobile to pay for travel to work and other smaller purchases.
The hotly contested mobile phone payment arena has seen recent person-to-person money transfer services offered by Barclays as well as pre-payment apps from Starbucks.