The Weve joint venture is breaking up, with Telefonica O2 buying out the U.K. telcos that joined it four years ago in planning a country-wide mobile payment system.
In buying out partners Everything Everywhere and Vodafone U.K., O2 stated that it has obtained all shares of the mobile commerce project, which will operate as a unit of O2.
Weve, which was previously called Project Oscar, last year dropped its mobile wallet ambitions to become more of a mobile marketing system for merchants. This transition was surprising in that it occurred only six months after MasterCard signed on as a partner to the Weve mobile wallet project.
However, an air of uncertainty lingered over the venture when its CEO David Sear left in June of 2014. Sear surfaced about a month later as the chief commercial officer for Skrill, overseeing its paysafecard and payolution divisions.
The phase-out of Weve as a telco joint venture comes less than three months after a similar venture in the U.S., Softcard, ended its operations. Google acquired Softcard's technology in mid-February, after which Softcard began urging its customers to sign up for Google Wallet.
Weve informed its customers that by integrating fully with O2, it will expand its reach through the company's O2 WiFi data network, giving its merchant clients access to more than 31 million customers.
O2's 10 million WiFi customers use all operator platforms, allowing the company to "target scaled, cross-network audiences," Weve said.