When French mobile-network provider Orange hooked up with Barclaycard to offer Quick Tap mobile payment technology in the United Kingdom last spring, it had only one downside — a lack of handsets capable of using the new technology.
Orange’s deal with Barclaycard through Orange parent Everything Everywhere Ltd. initially provided the mobile payment option only through Samsung Group handsets (see story).
It was no surprise then that Orange revealed April 13 that it had expanded the Quick Tap technology to Android handsets for all UK credit and debit cards in the Orange mobile wallet, an industry analyst says (see story).
“The biggest limitation of the original service was that it only worked on a single network in Orange, a single card in the Barclaycard and a single phone with Samsung,” Zil Bareisis, a London-based senior analyst for research firm Celent, tells PaymentsSource.
The number of consumers who were likely to have all three products was “relatively small,” Bareisis says.
“To grow that service you needed to add more participants along at least some of those dimensions,” he adds.
Orange’s announcement has to be considered a positive development in the mobile payments marketplace because it adds more cards with Quick Tap accepting any card from any bank, and more phones from the Android ecosystem, Bareisis suggests.
On the surface, Orange’s addition of Android phones appeared to counter a Barclay Bank PLC introduction in early February of the Pingit mobile-payment application for person-to-person payments in the competitive UK marketplace (see story).
But Bareisis contends that Orange’s expanded offering may have more to do with how the company positions itself in future partnerships, rather than singling out Barclaycard for competition.
“In any new and rapidly changing field, it is only natural for the players to be both partnering and competing, often almost at the same time,” Bareisis notes.
Indeed, last June, Everything Everywhere announced Orange would participate in a joint venture to share marketing and technology with European telcos to create a Near Field Communication-based mobile wallet (see story).
Quick Tap allows handset users to make transactions of up to £15 (US$24 or 18 euros) when waving a compatible phone over a terminal reader.
More than 70,000 retail outlets, including Subway and McDonald's, accept the Quick Tap technology in the UK. Orange's system links a user's mobile handset to their Quick Tap account, which can store £150 in total at any one time, Orange announced in a press release.
What do you think about this? Send us your feedback. Click Here.