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Orange introduces wireless mobile phone payments

It may soon be possible to pay for a sandwich using your mobile phone as mobile operator Orange introduces the UK’s first mobile payments service.

The service, which will be launched this summer, will see the phone operator collaborate with payments company Barclaycard. So far the firms which are using contactless technology include Little Chef, Pret a Manger, and the National Trust. It is expected that more services will be rolled out during the run up Olympics in 2012. .

The London games looks to be the epicentre for contactless payments, and sponsors like Visa and Transport for London are becoming heavily involved in the Near Field Communication (NFC), which is the short range wireless technology that constitutes the technology behind wireless payment systems.

In 2009 contactless payments were trialed by mobile operator O2, using mobiles instead of Oyster cards. The system allowed commuters to use their mobiles to pay for their tube journeys. Experts say that transactions, tickets and transports will be available with contactless technology by the 2012 Olympics.

Consumers are already able to take advantage of contactless technology in the UK. Credit or debit cards with a wireless symbol are compatible with wireless technology. Already there are 11.6 million contactless debit and credit cards in circulation in the UK.

Consumers using contactless mobile, as with contactless cards, may only use them for payments up to £15.

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