Orange and T-Mobile introducing NFC payments

Earlier in the week, we mentioned that Apple is looking to add NFC technology to the next generation of iPad and iPhone. As yet, we don't know if that will actually be implemented in the UK. But both Orange and T-Mobile have now confirmed that they will be offering mobile payments on selected devices from early summer, in conjunction with Barclaycard.

It will be the UK’s first commercial contactless mobile payments service, rolling out before the summer and available to use on the high street in 40,000 stores. According to Pocket Lint, Gerry McQuade, chief development officer of Everything Everywhere commented: 'This is the beginning of a revolution in how we pay for things on the high street. It’s a cultural shift that is as important as the launch of the personal credit card or ATMs. We’re making something that’s been talked about for many years a reality and very soon, using your mobile to buy a sandwich, a cinema ticket or in time, even something bigger like a computer will simply be the norm.'

That's all well and good, but what about the phones able to use it? We suspect the next generation of smartphone launches will have NFC technology built-in, with the existing Google Nexus S also being compatible. In other words, you'll probably need a new phone or upgrade if you want to buy a burger with your mobile phone. Indeed, Orange said as much, claiming it is working with leading phone manufacturers to guarantee some handset choice on launch day.

Security is likely to be an issue, something both companies are keen to address: A statement from the networks said: 'The new contactless mobile payment technology has been developed to ensure customers’ transactions and personal data will be protected and secure. The launch proposition will focus on an industry backed, SIM-based approach to payments ensuring enhanced security for customers, as well as to initially provide a single point of customer care contact. MasterCard will provide the payment capability for the contactless mobile transactions.'

Is that enough reassurance? Only time will tell.

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