The European mobile payments industry clawed another fraction forwards with the launch by Orange and Barclaycard of a NFC-enabled credit card. The card, which has a purchase limit of €10 per item, earns the customer points to spend in major retail stores, as well as discounts on Orange products and tickets to events.
However, while the credit card is evidence that the European mobile and financial services industries are eventually starting to work together, the mobile aspect remain limited. Customers will be sent a weekly and monthly text message detailing account balance and payment due dates, together with customisable SMS spending alerts, plus the ability to set spending caps and even block usage online, abroad and for high-value transactions.
In an attempt to boost the significance of the announcement, Tom Alexander, CEO of Orange UK, said: "Today you pay for things by cash or on your credit card. Tomorrow, you'll use your mobile to buy the things you want, whether that's on the high street or the internet."
While Orange might claim this launch as important, the European mobile payment services lag far behind those operating in Japan and Africa. Rivalries between operators and credit card issuers have delayed the implementation of anything other than the most simple service. Perhaps this NFC-enabled card might build trust between two industries not wanting to relinquish customer ownership.
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