Telefónica UK, Vodafone UK, and T-Mobile and Orange parent Everything Everywhere plan to form a joint venture in mobile marketing and payments, the companies announced June 16.
Each plans to provide a start-up investment for the project, which would include a “mobile wallet” using NFC technology, “relevant” offers and coupons delivered directly to users’ phones, and the creation of a single mobile-commerce “ecosystem” for advertisers, retailers and banks, the three companies said in a press release.
The joint venture will enable customers to transfer their entire physical wallet into a SIM-based wallet regardless of network or device, provided it is equipped with NFC technology, the companies said. Moreover, the venture will enable banks to create mobile versions of any debit or credit reward programs they offer and provide a “single contact point” for retailers and advertisers to market to customers through mobile devices, they said.
The companies will continue to compete and develop their own products but will base them on the joint venture’s infrastructure.
“This groundbreaking new business will unlock the true potential of commerce in the wire-free world,” Tom Alexander, CEO of Everything Everywhere, said in the release. “The benefits will be felt across the whole industry, allowing people to manage their money and make payments using their handsets, helping advertisers reach their customers on the move, and helping banks provide their clients with an easy and convenient way of making payments.”