The UK is seeing something of a boom in mobile payments of late. Recently Barclays launched its Pingit smartphone app that lets UK users transfer up to £750 a day to family, friends and small businesses. With nearly half a million downloads its success surprised many and perhaps points the way for others with is accessibility to both the bank’s customers and non-customers alike. O2’s rival Wallet app that allows “money messages” to be sent, and automatically fills in address and payment details for online purchases offers a non-bank alternative and of course Visa announced it’s digital wallet intentions with it’s V.me offering.
Now we have MasterCard joining the party by announcing a deal with Everything Everywhere yesterday.
Marion King, president, MasterCard UK & Ireland, said:
“As the use of cash continues to decline, we will be able to provide Everything Everywhere’s 27 million customers with an attractive range of new payment services backed by the processing power and security of MasterCard.”
Of course Marion has previous experience of mobile payments from her time as VocaLink CEO where the company helped to launch Monitise before selling its stake in 2009. Its clear that by working directly with Everything Everywhere that MasterCard are looking to exploit some of the natural mobile payment use cases. Gerry McQuade, chief marketing officer, Everything Everywhere, said:
“By moving our existing co-branded card offers onto mobile devices, we are closer to a world where our customers will be able to use their phone to pay for travel to work, pay for small purchases and take advantage of loyalty rewards from their favourite retail outlets.”
The partners will initially develop a co-branded pre-paid NFC mobile payments system, enabling Orange and T-Mobile customers to make contactless payments at more than 100,000 UK retailers.
So it seems that UK consumers will have plenty of choice when it comes to using their phone to make a payment but how much disruption this shift to a new form factor will create for the established players remains to be seen.