The main consortium of United Kingdom wireless operators has revealed NFC payments likely are to play a smaller role in the near future as the telcos decided using mobile technology for business-to-consumer marketing is currently more attractive.
The new business model, titled Project Oscar, initially was designed as a SIM-based platform for mobile payments called Weve. But mobile operators O2 and Vodafone believe the technology could be more effectively deployed as single platform for mobile advertising and providing loyalty and voucher benefits.
The telecom consortium writes on their website, “Weve joins up every disparate link in the m-commerce chain with a virtuous circle of mobile interactions designed to make life easier for businesses and consumers. Everything from the consumer opt-in process to text-based, rich media and app-based promotions, voucher integration / redemption schemes and comprehensive payments and loyalty processes are designed to feed back into this circle; ensuring that the more participants there are, the more efficient and innovative the system becomes.”
The announcement of the move is significant as O2 and Vodafone currently represent around 80 percent of all UK mobile users. While the operators have maintained that NFC payments are still in their plans, the companies admit the market is becoming more complex. This is not good news for overall NFC deployment campaigns and undoubtedly pushes back the broad NFC adoption timeline in the United Kingdom.
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