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O2UK to wind down mobile wallet offering

UK operator O2, part of the Telefónica stable, has announced to customers that it is closing down its O2 Wallet mobile commerce application, 18 months after it launched. The application will not function after March 31st this year, O2 said.

The firm told customers in an email that, since the launch, “lots has changed for us, the market and our customers. So we’ve decided to close the O2 Wallet to give us time to look into new and better ways to help people manage their money on the move.”

The UK mobile payment sector has made slow progress and the role of operators in its future has long been a source of questions. The UK mobile operator m-commerce collaboration Project Oscar, renamed Weve this time last year and repositioned as a marketing play, will begin enabling payment from the mobile device some time this year, according to comments from Weve CEO David Sear that feature in a video the organisation released in November last year.

But the UK Payments Council, a bank-funded, voluntary membership organisation incorporated to oversee and improve UK payment services, has compiled a database of UK mobile phone numbers matched to users bank account details and plans to launch mobile payments by April this year.

The end of O2 Wallet follows the firm’s withdrawal from the consumer health services market in July last year.


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