UK mobile operators partner with Mastercard on contactless payments joint venture

Matthew Finnegan

Weve, a joint venture between three of the UK's largest mobile operators, is partnering with Mastercard to help speed its adoption as a contactless mobile payments platform.

The three operators - Vodafone, EE and O2 - began collaborating on the development of Weve last year, with the aim of providing a comprehensive advertising platform, retail loyalty card and near-field communications (NFC) enabled payments system.

As an m-commerce solution, Weve will enable users to pay for goods by tapping their smartphone on an NFC point of sale devices at retailers - with 300,000 UK shops already fitted out with contactless systems.

The partnership with Mastercard will provide the technology underpinning integration with banks' payment infrastructure, as part of plans to create "the most ubiquitous platform" for mobile contactless payments in the UK.

According to MasterCard there has been a 220 percent growth in the number of contactless transactions in Europe in the past year.

"MasterCard's vision of a world beyond cash maps neatly onto our own vision of a world powered by mobile", said David Sear, Weve CEO. "Its existing relationships with the banks, in addition to its own experience of the mobile payments world, make it an ideal partner for Weve."