The United Kingdom mobile payment joint venture among three British mobile network operators (Vodafone, O2, and Everything Everywhere) was granted “unconditional” clearance by European regulators. The group’s stated goal is to develop a cross-carrier mobile payments platform similar to Isis in the United States.
Given that one of the biggest pain points in mobile payments has been lack of interoperability between platforms, this is potentially a big step in helping such services grow: the idea is that with a bigger potential audience to serve, bigger merchants, banks, payment providers, developers and handset makers will be more likely to make the necessary investments in infrastructure themselves.
With this clearance now in hand, the next step for the joint venture will be hiring staff for the new company. In addition to payments, the group also intends to provide a mobile marketing platform. This platform will likely be brought to market before the payments system. However, no specifics have been announced for either the payments or the marketing platform, including a launch schedule or even a name. That said, early indication is that the mobile payment platform will enable both NFC and eCommerce transactions.
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