EE, O2 and Vodafone form standalone m-commerce JV


Operators form mobile marketing and payments joint venture in the UK they claim will accelerate the adoption of mobile wallet and payment services

Everything Everywhere, O2 UK and Vodafone UK have announced plans to create a standalone m-commerce joint venture (JV). This is subject to competition clearance and is aiming to launch before the end of the year.

The companies claimed the JV will deliver the technology required for speedy adoption of mobile wallet and payments, which will enable consumers to transfer their entire physical wallet into a new secure, SIM-based wallet regardless of which NFC enabled mobile device, or mobile network they are using.

Companies and organisations that provide anything from credit, debit and loyalty cards to membership cards and transport tickets will be able to create secure mobile versions of their products. Consumers will be able to use their mobiles to pay for goods, services and travel using NFC with one touch of their phone, or online via mobile or PC.

The new business will also provide a single point of contact for advertisers, media agencies and retailers looking to reach consumers on their mobiles and will also enable them to book advertising space and create campaigns, as well as provide offers, coupons and loyalty cards that can be stored on the phone and redeemed in shops.

Consumers will be able to receive discounts and offers from brands that are relevant to them and that they want to receive.

Everything Everywhere CEO Tom Alexander (pictured centre) said: “This groundbreaking new business will unlock the true potential of commerce in the wire-free world.

“The benefits will be felt across the whole industry, allowing people to manage their money and make payments using their handsets, helping advertisers reach their customers on the move, and helping banks provide their clients with an easy and convenient way of making payments.

“And for partners operating in these industries, having a one-stop shop to deal with will make things quicker, easier and more efficient.”

O2 UK CEO Ronan Dunne (pictured left) said: “We are seeing an explosion in the m-commerce market.  Mobile advertising spend alone has more than doubled in two years as consumers embrace marketing on their handsets because it is now relevant to them and provides a great customer experience.

“The mobile marketing and payments market is extremely fragmented. By creating this new business we will underpin this nascent market, providing real size and scale, allowing consumers to benefit from new and innovative services, like the mobile wallet, and giving them more of the things they value, through offers and deals that are truly relevant to them. At the same time business customers will reach a vastly increased audience, utilising a single platform for sales, delivery and payment.

“This is not just something that is unique in the UK, but a JV that will create a model that many countries around the world could follow.”

Vodafone UK CEO Guy Laurence (pictured right) said: “Currently people take their mobile, wallet and keys when they leave home. In the near future, people will now start leaving their wallet at home, and in the mid term their keys may also be integrated into their mobile as NFC allows the mobile to act as a digital access card. The joint venture is the next phase in realising that ambition.”