Tapping a smartphone on a card reader to pay for a sandwich or a bus journey could soon become an everyday event, under a scheme unveiled on Thursday by
Now Weve, a joint venture formed by
It has announced a partnership with
Some 300,000 shops now have contactless readers for small payments, with
Mobile phone companies will also use the service for their own smartphone 'wallets' –
Not all SIM cards work for contactless payments, but those that do are now being issued with most new smartphones and should be in the majority of handsets by the end of 2015.
"Mobile payments are the thing that everybody's talked about but nobody's managed to do," said Weve chief executive
Weve believes it will succeed because it has access to 80% of British consumers via their phones. Three, the smallest mobile operator, is not a member, but represents fewer than 10% of subscribers.
Having one group representing the mobile networks and one representing the financial services industry would reduce the costs tenfold, said Sear, by cutting the number of potential players involved from around 15 to two.
A successful platform could bring rich rewards – the mobile groups behind Weve hope to take a commission on payments from the banks, although the terms have yet to be decided.
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