Feeds

Orange Cash goes live, O2 Money goes to Ireland

Next stop, your mobile phone

The essential guide to IT transformation

Orange has launched a prepaid credit card in the UK, branded Orange Cash and backed by MasterCard, while from today the Irish can get hold of an O2 Money card.

The plastic cards are contactless, and so can be used by waving them near a reader, but both launches are really about sticking a toe into the financial waters, and testing the business models before they get virtualised into the memory of a mobile phone.

Prepaid credit cards aren't new, but have never been very widely used in the UK. It's basically a debit card with its own account, money is instantly deducted from the prepaid balance, and the card stops working when the money runs out. But unlike a debit card you have to pay for the card (£5 and €5 respectively) and to top it up too. Rates vary between a free top-up in an Orange store, to £1.50 to top up Orange Cash in a Post Office, right up to €2.99 to stick €300 into an O2 Money card at an O2 shop.

O2 Money is capping its card at €350, but you can stick £5,000 into Orange Cash, though to do that from a credit card will cost you £200 (4 per cent) even if you are in an Orange store.

So why would anyone want one? It can be handed over to unreliable relatives and topped up with a monthly allowance, and is intended to remove the reliance on the small chips of metal that we're carrying around these days.

But to the network operators, they're also a step towards pay-by-mobile technologies. Everything Everywhere has made it clear that it will be launching on-phone payments this year, and O2 Money has similar, if less explicit, intentions. Both these products will evolve into downloadable applications for NFC (Near Field Communications) handsets, and soon. The next question is: will there be a Google Checkout or iTunes application for them to compete with? ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
6 Obvious Reasons Why Facebook Will Ban This Article (Thank God)
Clampdown on clickbait ... and El Reg is OK with this
So, Apple won't sell cheap kit? Prepare the iOS garden wall WRECKING BALL
It can throw the low cost race if it looks to the cloud
Time Warner Cable customers SQUEAL as US network goes offline
A rude awakening: North Americans greeted with outage drama
We need less U.S. in our WWW – Euro digital chief Steelie Neelie
EC moves to shift status quo at Internet Governance Forum
EE fails to apologise for HUGE T-Mobile outage that hit Brits on Friday
Customer: 'Please change your name to occasionally somewhere'
EE plonks 4G in UK Prime Minister's backyard
OK, his constituency. Brace yourself for EXTRA #selfies
prev story

Whitepapers

Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Advanced data protection for your virtualized environments
Find a natural fit for optimizing protection for the often resource-constrained data protection process found in virtual environments.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.