Orange prepares launch of 'Cash' for m-payment service

Having partnered with Barclaycard earlier this year to launch a co-branded contactless credit card, Orange is now poised to unveil a range of m-payment services.

The company, which has trademarked "Orange Cash," said that its new services will "revolutionise the way people pay on the high street," but without detailing which technology it would use or the actual services it would provide.

Orange, which has lagged behind other European operators with financial services, said that it was working with its partners to develop new technology, and that "consumers can expect some great products and services from us in this area."

Analysts reacted to this news by arguing that it was part of a wider trend by mobile operators to reduce customer churn. Howard Wilcox, senior analyst at Juniper Research, said, "Mobile operators are increasingly seeking to get into financial services because ARPU was going down and networks want to add revenue-generating services."

Coincidentally, a new study from IE Market Research claims that m-payment users will exceed 500 million in 2010, and this number was set to grow at a CAGR of 20.5 per cent to reach over 1 billion users in 2014.

"We believe that m-payments will reach the 1 billion users/US$1 trillion transaction mark in the next five years. This would indeed be a milestone for this fast-growing mobile vertical," said Nizar Assanie, vice president for research at IE.

The report also forecast that m-payment transactions would increase at a CAGR of 94.8 per cent globally. Nizar said that this made mobile payments perhaps the fastest growing vertical in the wireless value chain.

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