O2 Wallet mobile payment service launched

Sending funds between mobiles as easy as sending a text
Darren Allan

April 26, 2012

O2 has announced the launch of a new secure digital payment system to facilitate mobile transactions.

O2 Wallet has been developed by some 250 experts in the fields of finance and m-commerce, and is compatible with the majority of smartphones, along with the iPad.

The system enables a number of functions, including mobile shopping, with a barcode and search engine that takes in over a hundred online retailers. Discounts will also be offered via these outlets.

The Money Message function lets O2 customers securely transfer a payment to any other UK mobile number, as easily as if they were sending a text. Amounts between £1 and £500 can be transferred.

O2 Wallet also acts as a mobile wallet, funnily enough, and you can transfer money via a debit card onto your phone.

The system also boasts a virtual and physical O2 Money Account Card, based on a pre-paid Visa account. O2 notes that the virtual card is perfect for online shopping, and the physical card can be used as a normal debit card, to pay for goods or withdraw cash from ATMs. It’s a contactless card facilitating “tap-and-go” payments for maximum convenience.

Even those who don’t have a compatible smartphone can use some features of the O2 Wallet, for example Money Messages, as long as they have access to a web browser on their handset.

James Le Brocq, Managing Director at O2 Money, said: “O2 Wallet delivers the benefits of mobile money to more UK consumers than any other product or service currently available. With O2 Wallet, it’s easier to transfer money, track expenditure and pay swiftly and securely, all using your mobile. We believe it will transform the way people manage their finances and spend money.”

O2 claims it has put the system through stringent security paces using security experts, and internal trials which have been ongoing for months. The firm notes that all personal and financial details are held on remote servers, rather than the mobile itself, and PIN/password protection is used.

Doubtless there will be attempts to crack the system, so that testing will need to have been thorough.

Additional functionality is planned to be added to the O2 Wallet eventually, such as the ability to top-up your mobile, or purchase train tickets.

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