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Orange enables Samsung Galaxy SIII bonking

The future is Mastercard, but we'll take Visa too

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Orange and Barclaycard have revived their QuickTap pay-by-bonk platform with support for the Samsung Galaxy SIII, despite EE's commitment to create a new platform in cooperation with Mastercard.

Orange customers who fancy a bit of contractless action can, from tomorrow, get themselves a Samsung Galaxy SIII and score £50 in pay-by-bonk credit with which to show off to their iPhone-touting friends, as Orange whacks the defibrillation panels onto its payment platform before big daddy kills it off.

QuickTap last launched last June, and uses a Barclaycard-mediated platform stored on the SIM to enable pay-by-bonk. At its launch, only a special edition of the Samsung Tocco was supported, and despite NFC-enabled BlackBerrys appearing on the list at one point, there are currently no handsets supporting QuickTap – at least, until tomorrow's launch...

Anyone upgrading to a Galaxy SIII, or joining Orange to get one, will get £50 pre-loaded onto the phone – well up from the usual bribe offered to those prepared to give phone payments a try. QuickTap was envisioned as a multiple-card wallet, but hasn't yet evolved beyond a single pre-paid account which one loads with credit using an existing card, the money being spent by tapping against the till with each payment capped at £20.

The standard permits bigger purchases, authenticated with a PIN, but that's for the future – this is just for small-scale stuff.

Just as in all the UK's proximity-payment systems, the usual fraud prevention is in place, with loads of cryptography and fraudulent payments refunded, though that won't stop the naysayers worrying about virtual pickpockets.

More worrying for QuickTap is Everything Everywhere's avowed intention to create its own payment platform in collaboration with Mastercard.

Despite appearances, Orange is just a brand – owned by EE along with T-Mobile – and is thus unlikely to maintain its own payment platform forever, but perhaps this resuscitation of QuickTap will help EE learn more about proximity-payments by phone – not least how big the bribe has to be before people will start using them. ®

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