O2 plans mobile e-wallet payment service

Set to capitalise on NFC-equipped iPhone 5?
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British mobile network operator O2 is set to launch a mobile wallet payment application in the second half of 2011 including support for near field communication.

The firm revealed that it plans to apply for an e-money operating licence from the Financial Services Authority this year. Armed with such a licence, O2 will be able to offer person to person money transfers between customers. 

Currently the Google Nexus S smartphone is equipped with near-field communication (NFC) and the upcoming Apple iPhone 5 has also been widely tipped to offer the technology. 

Coupled with a payment service and application such as O2, the potential of users to merely tap phones on a receiver or even tap phones together to make payments becomes a potentially common sight when products launch later in the year. 

O2 has formerly trialled NFC payments using a Nokia handset. The firm said that it had conducted enough trials and was satisfied that the time was right to move ahead.

The company plans to make an announcement in the second half of the year, claiming that critical mass will be achieved ahead of the London Olympics in 2012.

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