UK mobile operator Orange has announced that the Samsung Galaxy S3 will be the first Android phone to feature its Quick Tap contactless payment technology.
From 5 September, new and upgrading Orange Samsung Galaxy S3 customers with a UK MasterCard or Visa card will be able to use Quick Tap to pay for goods worth up to £20 in shops. Customers need to download the Quick Tap app in order to activate the secure Barclaycard service.
Quick Tap works using Near-Field Communications (NFC) technology, similar to that used in Transport for London's (TfL) Oyster cards. NFC allows consumers to carry out transactions by simply touching their devices to a point-of-sale terminal in a shop.
Orange claims that contactless payments are currently accepted in over 100,000 locations nationwide, including McDonalds, M&S, Co-op Food, Prt a Manger, EAT, M6 Toll Road, Little Chef, Wembley Arena, Subway and Wilkinson. Customers can load funds of up to £150 onto their Quick Tap account using any UK MasterCard or Visa debit or credit cards.
"We are really excited to be launching Quick Tap payments on one of the most popular smartphones of the year," said Simeon Bird, director of propositions at Orange UK.
"Contactless mobile payments are a secure and convenient alternative to cash and cards and we are pleased to be the first network brand in the UK to offer its customers such an innovative service."
The latest report by Juniper Research predicts that the scale of global mobile payment transactions will rise nearly fourfold over the next five years to more than $1.3 trillion. However, current adoption is still sluggish.
This is partly because of consumer concerns over the security of mobile wallet services, but also because consumer awareness of the technology is extremely low. The report stated that for NFC to fulfil its potential, marketing would need to be scaled up dramatically.
Orange said that access to the Quick Tap app is PIN protected and customers can choose to use a PIN when making payments in store. The app also contains information such as account balance and purchase history so customers can keep an eye on their spending.
In an attempt to kickstart adoption, Orange is offering £50 of free credit to customers who activate the Quick Tap service between 5 September and 5 October 2012.
Last week, Orange UK's parent company, Everything Everywhere, signed a five-year partnership with Mastercard to develop mobile payment solutions. Orange said that today's announcement compliments the new partnership, but how the two offerings will run in parallel is unclear.
An spokesperson for Everything Everywhere told Techworld that the company was keen to develop relationships with all the major payments providers.