Operator EE is to launch an NFC-based service called Cash on Tap in partnership with MasterCard which will enable UK subscribers equipped with certain Android smartphones to make purchases in retail outlets.
The joint venture between the UK operations of Orange and Deutsche Telekom will launch the mobile payments service on 17 July.
Cash on Tap enables transactions to be made by EE subscribers at 230,000 UK outlets including McDonald’s, Boots and Greggs. The service is initially available on three NFC-enabled Android handsets – Samsung Galaxy S4, Sony Xperia SP and Samsung Galaxy S3 LTE – with more to follow “in the coming months”.
The announcement follows an agreement between EE and MasterCard last summer on jointly developing a number of mobile payment services. The app has branding from both of the companies.
Cash on Tap is a pre-paid account where users pay into the account from their debit and credit cards, rather than using those cards to make payments directly.
EE is offering £10 in credit in a bid to kickstart take-up.
According to the announcement, Cash on Tap is “issued” by a company called PrePay Technologies Limited pursuant to license by MasterCard. As the name implies, PrePay Technologies is a specialist in pre-paid services and electronic payments. It is a joint venture between a company called Edenred (67 per cent) and MasterCard (33 per cent).
Although this is the first contactless service offered by EE, shareholder Orange previously launched a NFC-based service of its own called QuickTap.
EE also used the same press event to confirm a number of other previous non-payment announcements regarding its LTE service.