Britons will be able to make payments using their mobile phones starting this summer.
Barclaycard and Everything Everywhere - the awkwardly named result of the T-Mobile and Orange merger - have teamed up to bring mobile payments to their customers, saying the system should arrive by early summer.
However, such mobile payments will initially only be available to those on the Orange network with a Barclaycard account, the company said.
There are as yet no plans to bring the near field communications (NFC) payments to the T-Mobile side. "We regularly review the service offerings from both brands and launching the service on T-Mobile is an open option to us," a spokesperson said.
Anyone wishing to buy a sandwich with a mobile payment will also need an NFC-enabled handset. Orange said it's working with manufacturers to have more available by this summer, amid rumours the next iPhone is set to include the technology.
What it all means is that anyone with an NFC phone on the Orange network who is a Barclarycard customer will be able to pay with their phones for transactions of up to £15 at the 40,000 retailers that already accept payments using Barclarycard's NFC system. So far, that includes Pret A Manger, Eat and Little Chef.
Gerry McQuade, chief development officer at Everything Everywhere, said the announcement was the first step in extending the use of mobile phones.
"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," he said.
"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."
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