O2 trial brings NFC closer to UK


O2 said its trial of Near Field Communications (NFC) technology on a mobile phone revealed a strong consumer demand for such services.

The ‘O2 Wallet’ trial took place over six months between November 2007 and May 2008 and involved 500 O2 customers as trialists.

The trial tested consumer demand for having cards normally carried in a wallet, such as the Oyster London Underground pass and credit cards, available on a Nokia 6131 NFC mobile phone.

To travel on London’s transport system or make purchases in participating retail stores, the user simply touched the phone against a reader and the payment would be deducted.

Nine out of ten trialists were happy using NFC technology on a mobile phone and 78 per cent said they would be interested in using contactless services if available. Convenience, ease-of-use and the status of having such an innovative device were seen as the main benefits.

O2 claimed 89 per cent of trialists said they were interested in having an Oyster card on their mobile phone on a long term basis. Over two-thirds of trialists also said that they would be interested in having the Barclaycard Visa payWave feature on their mobile in the future.

O2 head of NFC Claire Maslen said: "This trial takes us one step forward to achieving this by demonstrating that people want the convenience and practical benefits offered by services like the O2 Wallet.

"Imagine going out for the night and only taking your mobile phone with you"