back to article O2 gets into banking business

O2, the UK brand of Spanish network operator Telefonica, has got into bed with NatWest Bank to launch two payment cards, as it expands into financial services. The operator has announced the launch of two pre-paid credit cards under the "O2 Money" brand: one for children (Load & Go) and one for grown ups (Cash Manager). Both …


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  1. Real Ale is Best

    Cunning O2

    Doing this while interest rates are effectively zero means they can get customers to move their money now - why not? the bank doesn't pay interest either - and then keep most of them when the banks do start paying interest, without having to do so themselves.

  2. The Original Ash

    Load and Go

    "Load & Go is slightly more interesting in that it, supposedly, can't be used to access adult services such as gambling, **in shops** or over the internet."

    If it can't be used in a shop, what's the point? Head to the nearest cash point and get some lovely untraceable piccies of HM Lizzie and you've bypassed all the "AMAGAD TINK OF DEH SHILDRENZ!!1" protection.

  3. Anonymous Coward

    A title goes here!

    Who says you cant pull money out of fresh air..

  4. Thomas Bottrill

    Not new

    "This move risks reminding prepaid customers that sitting on their credit is a nice little earner for the network operators, and one has to wonder if someone will make the jump to paying interest on pre-paid mobile phone accounts, though that assumes that interest rates will rise enough to make it worthwhile."

    Prepaid cards are hardly a new thing. Plenty of people load money up on them and don't earn interest.

  5. Paul 93

    Concept not new, but nice implementation

    @ Thomas, yep, not new, but having had a pre-pay card before, I found two problems. Firstly, I never knew how much was on the thing, so had trouble once I thought there was less than a tenner on it. Secondly, the bandits took money off me to load it, and to spend it, so using it was stupid (hence I dumped it...) O2's jobbie seems to send you text messages and is free.

  6. Anonymous Coward

    Only if they tighten up security

    Given that O2's card authentication for crediting pre pay phones is so weak that it's a major target for fraudsters (search for O2 Prepay fraud) it'll be a cold day in hell before I have one..

  7. pctechxp

    @Paul 93

    Have to agree, I'll def be getting one as its safer than carrying cash.

    I did get a branded prepaid card advertised by a certain sport orientated radio station on medium wave.

    £3 year plus 10% iof whatever I load, I dumped it too because it fwlt like I was being robbed.

  8. Ihre Papiere Bitte!!

    Interest on Prepay Credit

    "This move risks reminding prepaid customers that sitting on their credit is a nice little earner for the network operators"

    In effect, I get 20% back on everything I put on my O2 prepay phone - I get 10% immediately, and another 10% every 3 months. I generally top up £30 a month, and get an extra £3 then, plus an extra £9 each quarter, giving me £72 a year "interest" on £720 a year "deposits". Without any 90-day notice period or withdrawal penalties.

    I defy a bank to offer 20% interest rates - you're lucky to find 5% at the moment, and that includes ludicrous conditions. With the mobile credit, OK I can't use it for bread & milk (yet), but it can be spent on more than phone calls, ringtones & kittehs that lick the screen - THAT'S AN EXTRA £72 OF PORN A YEAR!!!

  9. Luther Blissett

    Call me daft or wot

    Alright, kiddies, next finance lesson - good investment, bad investment.

    You have some money. Here are some things you can do with it:

    1. Put it in your piggy bank, or if that's too small, stuff it under your mattress.

    2. Give it to a bank to keep it "safe" - snug and warm.

    3. Start a mobile phone company with your friends. You need loads of money to start with, but once you've built the masts, the money just keeps rolling in.

    4. Start a bank with your friends. You don't need loads of money, since you're allowed to invent 10 or 20 times or more than you have to start with. Unbelievable but true. Once you've given away all the invented money, sit back and wait for it all to come rolling back in. The really amazing thing is that more comes back in than you gave out.

    Which one of these is a good investment?

  10. OFI

    Prepaid Cards


    Why not get a PayPal Prepaid card? As far as I can tell they only charges you'll get are withdrawing money from an ATM. Otherwise it is pretty easy to manage.

    On the downside PayPal might close your account without warning and you lose all of your money.

    Combining a debit card with your phone credit seems like an odd idea..

    I wonder if O2 will make up transaction amounts as it seems to with the data i've used on the internet and subsequently removing random sums of money from my credit!

    At least that's how it feels :-(

  11. Simon Williams 2

    Quit sitting on my cash

    Take the money I pay on a monthly basis for my phone contract and instead of starting a fscking bank, use it to roll out some fscking 3G already.

  12. Gavin Bloeman

    @ The Original Ash

    I think what the article was referring to was the gambling aspect when it said "in shops or over the internet" ... i hope it was anyway, else it would be a pretty useless thing to own

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