As we mentioned in January, Orange and Barclaycard are first to market with a contactless payment system, which today has been confirmed as Quick Tap. All you need now is a Quick Tap-enabled handset.The idea is (fairly) simple, you get to use chip and pin cards or suitable mobile phones to make purchases on the high street in a 'secure and convenient way'. Where? The likes of Pret A Manger, EAT, Little Chef, Wembley Arena, Subway, Wilkinson and McDonalds have all been mentioned. So if you want a quick sandwich, you might well be in luck.Downside? Choice of phone at launch we would say. When it was reviewed back in January 2010, the Samsung Tocco Lite got a reasonable review, nothing more. For us, cutting edge mobile payments don't sit well with a less-than-new mid-range handset. Still, it is available as a pay-as-you-go as well as monthly, should you want to dip your toe into the NFC waters on the cheap. Orange does point out that more handsets are 'expected to follow from a selection of leading manufacturers', which is no surprise. Pretty much every leading manufacturer has announced it is going down that route over the next 12 months.To get started, Barclaycard, Barclays debit or Orange Credit Card users can transfer funds of up to £100 onto the handset’s Quick Tap app, after which the phone is ready to make payments of £15 and under in a single transaction. The app, which sits on the home screen of all Quick Tap compatible handsets, contains information such as electronic statements detailing Quick Tap purchases so you can keep an eye on your spending too. The app can be pin-protected too, should you worry about your friends sneaking off and buying a Big Mac with your handset.Orange's VP Pippa Dunn 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. Orange Quick Tap is the first of its kind, a service that allows you to pay for everyday items just by tapping your phone wherever you see the contactless payment symbol. It’s going to start a revolution in the way we pay for things on the high street.'
Early days, but definitely a glimpse into the future.