back to article Orange and Barclaycard partner on touchless pay-by-phone tech

The death knell for physical cash payments has sounded once again, this time following an agreement between Orange and Barclaycard to co-develop contact-less payment services for mobile phones. Barclays_Orange_NFC Orange and Barclaycard will co-develop NFC tech The duo will launch co-branded contactless payment products …


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  1. Anonymous Coward

    Cash will never die for one very good reason:

    It is anonymous.

    Also, the fact that you can carry cash and nothing else valuable if you are going somewhere where you might lose it. If you lose your phone with this, someone has access to all your money at once.

  2. Christian Berger


    Wait a minute there are buttons from 1-9, OK, but what does 10, 11 and 12 do?

  3. Nicholas Wright

    Insurance on mobiles...

    ... so are they going to start including any money spent on the lost/stolen mobile?

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @ Cash will never die

    "It is anonymous."

    One could cynically suggest that's why these schemes are being pushed through - to reduce the amount of anonymous transactions (or just to fuel Whacky Jacqui's database obsessions).

    To be honest, I'd be OK with this whole contactless payment thing, if I could pick up an anonymous card, top it up at a shop with cash, then use it as normal.

    But I'll bet you can't do that. This phone one will be linked to your mobile account and the Barclycard one is (presumably) linked to your bank account.

    If I ever get given one, it'll meet a hammer and a microwave, then live in a tinfoil-lined wallet thanks.

  5. Jerome


    @Anonymous Cashtard - I think the idea is that you load as much "cash" as you'll be needing onto your mobile, rather than it having direct access to your bank account. Hence the term "electronic wallet", cos it's kinda like a wallet, see?

    The anonymity of cash is a good point though. Sadly I can't see this factoring into many people's reaction to the new tech. The company will just do a Tesco: offer a crapload of rewards for users when the scheme launches, then quietly make them utterly worthless once everyone's adopted the technology.

  6. Anonymous Coward

    re: Cash will never die

    yes but will it be Pounds Sterling, Euros or something else - at current economic climate I'd guess something else

  7. Paul

    Is it me...

    ...or is this the most retarded idea ever?

    How often do you go out and accidentally forget your phone / have it go flat / lose it / have it stolen / get it accidentally lodged in an orifice?

    Stop. Hammertime.

  8. Max

    Please make a note:

    That your credit/debit card and the cash in your pocket never run out of power.

    I'll stay with cash and off the grid, thanks.

  9. kerlmann


    This is NFC = Near Field Communications technology, essentially the same priniciple by which Oyster cards work (i.e. no battery!). In other words, it should work OK even on a flat phone - you would probably need power to be able to upload money to the e-Wallet though.

  10. Damian Skeeles

    Niche meats niche

    Great. So if I take out a Barclaycard account, and take out an Orange contract, then I'll have an option to get a specific Orange-rebranded handset that will contain an ecash chip, which will be accepted by precisely 2 fast food chains in Central London only. And maybe a free water chute commute home.

    Niche x niche x niche = no-one uses it

    Hopefully enough Tier 1 co's will put their muscle behind a public standard, that everyone will subscribe to, and everyone will use. Or perhaos someone like Tesco will start accepting Oyster in central London stores, and the momentum will carry. Otherwise, it's yet another dead duck.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Nope, this isn't mobile payments

    This is basically the same as carrying a contactless Barclaycard, but stuffed inside your mobile phone. There's no "e-wallet" planned at the moment, and this really isn't actual mobile payment. It's just a Barclaycard. On a SIM. Deep joy.

    You'll only be able to make contactless payments for things that cost less than a tenner. Your Oystercard (also in the phone, natch) will have to be charged at an Oyster terminal. You'll have to enter your PIN into the phone every few transactions to verify it's still you that has it.

    Basically, this is a really stupid idea. You will have to carry your Barclaycard with you *anyway*, because not that many places have contactless readers and you can't use the phone to buy anything over £10, but now your phone is a much more tempting target for thieves.

    @Nicholas Wright: no, they won't need to cover that under the insurance because it's exactly the same from the point of view of the Consumer Credit Act as having your credit card lost or stolen. The consumer isn't liable, unless you count "liable to get stabbed in the face for waving their phone/free cash for thieves around on the Tube".

    @Paul: it's not the most stupid idea ever, but it has to make the Top 20.

    @Max: It will still work even when the phone is switched off. It won't work with a *completely* flat battery, but "battery insufficient to run the phone" and "battery completely flat" are in no way the same thing in this context.

    @Jerome: No, this is not an e-wallet, this is not a new Mondex, there is no "cash" on the phone. It's a Barclaycard - just like any other but effectively superglued to a mobile phone - the contactless facility of which can be used to make micropayments. There is nothing even slightly interesting about it from a consumer perspective and certainly nothing terribly revolutionary from a technology perspective.

    This has been tried, several times before, and nobody has ever cared.

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