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O2 money-phone set to go live this year

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O2 will be working with Wave Crest, FIS, Intelligent Environments and Visa Europe to get its O2 Money product into a mobile phone before the end of 2011.

The new best friends will provide the infrastructure, point of sale terminals and customer support for the phone-embedded service, which is due to launch later this year.

O2 will soon become an Authorised Electronic Money Institution (EMI) so won't need former partner NatWest, or any other bank, to back up its financial services. However, it will need the other partners to get those services dropped into a mobile telephone.

Intelligent Environments will be developing the wallet application; right now there are NFC handsets running Bada, Android and Symbian, so expect to see at least two of those supported.

Wave Crest will be running the payment service, while Visa Europe provides the point of sale infrastructure - so O2 Money should work wherever Visa is accepted, and an NFC terminal has been fitted.

FIS will manage the business-to-business payment processing, as it does for many other payment schemes.

Back in 2009 O2 hooked up with NatWest to launch a prepaid credit card, branded O2 Money, but the couple split a year later, citing different strategic goals. As an Authorised EMI O2 can do without NatWest, but it still needs partners to get proximity payments working - one never knows, perhaps Visa will invite O2 to join the Olympic party. ®

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