Slideshow 13 Mobile Phone Companies Pushing Into Payments

  • January 24 2014, 3:44pm EST

Mobile carriers are becoming more heavily involved in the payments world. Many are spearheading tests and full deployments of mobile wallets throughout the world, and some are launching prepaid cards as well. (Image: ShutterStock)


T-Mobile's "Mobile Money" initiative features a prepaid card with a heavy focus on mobile account access. The wireless carrier is treating its U.S. stores as a stand-in for a bank's branch network, providing customers with a place to add funds to their accounts for free.

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M-Pesa launched in March 2007, just a few months before the original iPhone. Nairobi-based Safaricom's money-transfer service reached a million users by the end of that year and reached 10 million in mid-2010. (Image: Bloomberg News)


Sprint's Boost Mobile prepaid phone service launched a mobile wallet last year with a focus on providing international money transfers to its underbanked target audience. The Boost Mobile Wallet supports transfers to over 135 countries.


T-Mobile, AT&T and Verizon Wireless are jointly involved in the Isis venture. The Isis wallet recently launched throughout the U.S., enabling consumers to make contactless payments from phones built with Near Field Communication chips.

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Rogers Communications' Suretap mobile wallet can make contactless payments from an NFC phone at a merchant who accepts MasterCard PayPass contactless cards. Users can also get a prepaid MasterCard linked to the mobile wallet. (Image: Bloomberg News)

MobilTarca Wallet

Hungary's major mobile carriers — Magyar Telekom, Vodafone and Telenor — teamed up to develop the MobilTarca mobile wallet, which makes NFC payments at merchants that accept MasterCard PayPass. The companies committed to a rollout after successful tests that began in July 2013. (Image: MobilTarca)


Orange offers a prepaid Visa card linked to its Orange Cash mobile wallet. It's also teaming up with Vodafone and Telefonica to launch a mobile payment system in Spain with La Caixa. (Image: Bloomberg News)

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In Germany, Vodafone offers the SmartPass Visa contactless payment system. It tested the mobile wallet in Dusseldorf last year, with plans to expand the system throughout the country in the first quarter of 2014. (Image: Bloomberg News)


Another telco venture, Weve — formerly Project Oscar — involves Vodafone UK, Everything Everywhere and Telefonica O2 UK. The companies shifted their focus to marketing when they renamed the initiative in 2012, but they still consider mobile payments a fundamental component of the overall project. (Image: ThinkStock)

China Mobile

China Mobile and China UnionPay are jointly developing a mobile payments business in Shanghai. The venture will store bank account details in the phone's SIM card. (Image: Bloomberg News)

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Telecom Italia Mobile

Telecom Italia is working with Visa Europe and Intesa Sanpaolo to offer a Visa card linked to the NFC SIM card in subscribers' phones. The companies entered a strategic agreement in November after testing the system in Milan. (Image: Bloomberg News)


Norway's largest mobile carrier, Telenor, is launching a mobile wallet for customers of DnB, Sparebank 1 Group, Skandiabanken and Fana Sparebank. (Image: Bloomberg News)


TOT, Thailand's state-owned telecommunications provider, is planning a mobile payment and customer relationship management service called Just Pay. The service will be operated by Act Mobile Ltd., a unit of TOT.