The UK’s mobile payments market suffered further fragmentation earlier this week with the news that Everything Everywhere (London, UK) had signed a new five-year deal with MasterCard (Purchase, USA).
Details of the collaboration are few, but the companies say one of their first products will be a prepaid service for mobile devices allowing customers to make payments using Near Field Communications (NFC) technology.
A press release issued by MasterCard claims that Everything Everywhere customers will be able to make NFC payments at more than 100,000 retail outlets across the UK.
Everything Everywhere and MasterCard have already teamed up to provide Quick Tap, which allows customers to make contactless payments, and so the new arrangement may seem like a logical extension of their partnership.
But Everything Everywhere is also a member of Project Oscar, which aims to develop a platform for mobile wallet services based on NFC and also involves rival operators Vodafone (Newbury, UK) and O2 (London, UK).
Project Oscar is awaiting approval by the European Commission.
Besides NFC services, Everything Everywhere and Mastercard say they will expand into new areas, including person-to-person money transfers, loyalty rewards and digital payment services.
They also plan to develop services that will help small business customers accept payments using mobile devices, with more details to be announced later this year.
“Working with MasterCard is an important step in making mobile contactless payments more widely available for our 27 million customers,” said Gerry McQuade, Everything Everywhere’s chief marketing officer, in a statement. “By moving our existing co-branded card offers on to mobile devices, we are closer to a world where our customers will be able to use their phone to pay for travel to work, pay for small purchases and take advantage of loyalty rewards from their favourite retail outlets.”