CNET también está disponible en español.

Ir a español

Don't show this again

Christmas Gift Guide
Phones

Orange and Barclaycard waving phones for contactless payment this summer

Forget fumbling for change or worrying about the weirdo behind you seeing your PIN -- this summer, you'll be able to pay for things with an airy wave of your Orange mobile phone.

Forget fumbling for change or worrying about the weirdo behind you seeing your PIN -- this summer, you'll be able to pay for things with just an airy wave of your mobile phone. Orange and Barclaycard have teamed up to finally make contactless mobile phone payments a reality.

After Orange kicks things off, contactless payments will be available to customers of Everything Everywhere, the network formed by the merger of Orange and T-Mobile.

You may already be familiar with contactless payment, as there are 11.6 million contactless debit and credit cards in circulation. Have a look at your bank card -- if it's got a little Wi-Fi-style logo on it, you can use it to pay for small transactions without the need to type in a PIN.

The readers and point of sale technology are supplied by MasterCard PayPass. Everywhat Everywhen and Barclaycard are also working together on an Orange Cash pre-paid contactless card.

Phone payments will be available in 40,000 stores by early summer of 2011. To make payments, you'll need a Barclaycard or Orange credit card account and a phone with an NFC chip. Everyhey Everyhoo says your SIM card will ensure transactions are secure.

NFC makes an appearance in Android 2.3 Gingerbread and is built into the Google Nexus S. There are also rumours afoot that the next versions of the Apple iPhone and Apple iPad may have NFC goodness baked-in. Apart from that though, there are very few existing phones that this will be compatible with.

Waving your phone in shops has been talked about for years, so we'll believe it when we see it. O2 has been talking about combining Oyster card, Barclaycard and phone into an 'O2 Wallet' since 2007. Not everyone's keen.

But a chap from Everywhich Everyway said "very soon, using your mobile to buy a sandwich, a cinema ticket or in time, even something bigger like a computer will simply be the norm". Are you looking forward to this brave new future, or is phone-based payment the worst idea you've ever heard?