EE plans to focus on its newer Cash on Tap service for contactless mobile payments, as the Quick Tap service originally launched by Orange UK and Barclaycard in 2011 is finally phased out.
The move means that the UK-based operator, which also owns the Orange UK and T-Mobile UK brands, will offer one contactless mobile payments service based on near-field communications (NFC). Cash on Tap was introduced in partnership with MasterCard last year, and EE said it is due to be compatible with over 500,000 customers' handsets by the end of 2014.
The Quick Tap service used Barclaycard as its partner and was the UK's first NFC payments service. EE said the service is still active, but noted that Barclays has also confirmed it plans to close the pioneering service by the end of this year, and has written to those customers affected. NFC World suggested the service would be closed on Oct. 30.
"Both companies made the decision [to close the service]," EE said in comments emailed to FierceWireless:Europe. "EE remains committed to contactless mobile payments, however. Moving forward this will be with our own app, Cash on Tap."
Barclays will continue to offer other contactless payment options, including contactless credit cards and PayTag, a contactless payment service that uses small stickers on the back of mobile phones.
The decision to close Quick Tap suggests that the mobile phone service did not produce the desired results for the banking group. The bank did not respond to requests for comments before publication.
EE--a 50-50 joint venture of Deutsche Telekom and Orange Group--is also involved in the UK mobile payments venture Weve along with Vodafone UK and O2 UK. Weve is a more far-reaching endeavour that ultimately aims to accelerate the development of the UK's "most comprehensive contactless mobile payments system" in conjunction with MasterCard.
- see this NFC World article
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