Weve, the UK joint venture between O2, Vodafone and EE, will no longer launch a mobile wallet and payments service next year, according to The Telegraph.
The three operators could not agree on a common approach, said the report. The original intention was for the wallet and payment service to be developed by Weve and then offered individually by each operator.
However, Weve will continue with its existing advertising services, both display and SMS-based.
Back in February, the venture announced plans to launch mobile payment services with MasterCard (it was also talking with other credit card firms) in 2015, while declaring that the fragmented nature of mobile payments meant the marketplace was “a bit of a mess”. Now it looks as if fragmentation might have won out.
EE launched its Cash on Tap service last year, and Vodafone is set to follow suit. Meanwhile Apple last week unveiled Apple Pay, which sees support for contactless payments via NFC, as well as enabling other online transactions.
Weve told Mobile World Live in a statement that “we’ve a great deal of valuable work exploring opportunities in the UK mobile payments space in 2014, yielding insight and developing significant IP in this market.”
“We continue to believe there is a great deal of potential in mobile contactless payments and we are currently working on developments where Weve can help streamline the mobile payments process,” it said, without spelling out what those developments might be.
Weve CEO David Sear stepped down from the venture in June with no successor so far appointed.