O2 launches mobile wallet app
Mobile operator O2 has become the latest entrant in the mobile payments market with the launch of a new app.
The O2 Wallet app, which allows users to transfer up to £500 via text message, follows the launch of a similar service, Pingit, by Barclays.
Barclays’ free ‘Pingit’ app allows the bank’s UK current account holders to send money from their phone by simply entering the recipient’s mobile phone number.
O2 Wallet will allow users on any network to transfer money by text message and to shop online using any UK bank card.
In addition it offers features such as a money management facility, and a search facility which allows the price of goods to be compared.
It also allows users to digitise their debit and credit cards in order to speed up online transactions.
O2 Wallet is available on IOS, Android and Blackberry devices, but the app does not support Windows phones.
Initially O2 will allow app users to transfer money via text for free, but there are plans to eventually introduce a 15p charge per text message.
Retails who have signed up to accept payments from the service include Debenhams, Comet, Sainsbury’s Direct and Tesco Direct.
Plans for O2 Wallet to offer a contactless payments service have been postponed until more retailers have installed the necessary terminals.
James Le Brocq, managing director at O2 Money said: “We believe it will transform the way people manage their finances and spend money.”
O2 has been working with Vodafone and EverythingEverywhere to provide a national mobile payments service in time for the 2012 Olympics but the project has been delayed by a European anti-competitive investigation.
A recent YouGov consumer survey commissioned by Intelligent Environments found that 29 per cent of British mobile owners would use their phone in preference to cash or cards, to make payments of less than £20.
Among the 18-24 age group this number rose to 41 per cent.