January 28, 2011

A contactless mobile payment system will launch this summer. In the United Kingdom, at least.

A partnership between Everything Everywhere - a joint venture between mobile providers Orange and T-Mobile - and credit card provider Barclaycard will power the U.K.'s first mobile Near Field Communications payments network.

"This is the beginning of a revolution in how we pay for things on the high street," said Gerry McQuade, chief development officer, Everything Everywhere. "It’s a cultural shift that is as important as the launch of the personal credit card or ATMs."

A release issued by Barclaycard claims customers will be able to use their existing cell phones to make payments at more than 40,000 retailers after swapping out their current SIM cards for new ones equipped with NFC. MasterCard will provide the payments capabilities. Gemalto provides Barclays with Trusted Service Management operated services, which enable the secure deployment and management of mobile contactless payment.

"I believe that future generations will find it surprising that early this century we were still carrying separate items to buy goods and to communicate with each other," said David Chan, CEO, Barclaycard Consumer Europe. "As payment experts, our role is to make it easier, more convenient and incredibly secure for people to make purchases and manage their money while on the move."

Barclaycard has issued some 10 million contactless credit and debit cards, and has 42,500 live Barclaycard terminals currently in operation.

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