O2 announces O2 Wallet with Transport for London, Transys, Barclaycard, Visa Europe, Nokia and AEG
First true pilot of NFC to test consumer demand and behaviour in the UK
Espoo, Finland - O2 today announced the launch of the UK’s first large scale pilot of NFC (Near Field Communications) technology on mobile phones. The trial of the O2 Wallet® paves the way for the mass market use of mobile phones to pay for purchases, access events or even be used as Oyster cards for travel around London, simply by touching the phone to a reader.
“Research shows that people are more likely to return home if they leave their phone behind than their wallet or keys,” said Cath Keers, Customer Director, O2 UK. “So why not have your wallet on your phone? We believe that NFC technology is going to fundamentally change the way people use their mobile phones.”
The trial, which will involve over 500 people invited from the O2 customer base, takes place across selected sites throughout London and begins on 28th November 2007 running for six months until the end of May 2008.
NFC is a contactless functionality, enabling a wide range of secure uses including cashless payments, public transport and event ticketing, and smart posters. In order to make this as comprehensive a pilot as possible, O2 has brought together a broad range of partners, including Transport for London, TranSys, Barclaycard, Visa Europe, Nokia and AEG.
Each trialist will be given a Nokia 6131 NFC handset installed with the O2 Wallet. Just like a normal wallet, this will hold various everyday cards, including Oyster and Barclaycard, but in virtual form and with NFC functionality. Trialists will be able to test a wide range of different services in London, such as making purchases in retail outlets and travelling on London’s public transport system. All participants will be asked to provide feedback on the services featured in the O2 Wallet evaluating its ease of use, security and overall usefulness.
A range of services
Accessed from the phone’s main menu, the O2 Wallet shows all the NFC services available on the handset in addition to information about each service and customer support.
All 500 trialists will have Oyster on their phone enabling them to use their handset to pay for travel on the Tube, buses and trams across the Capital. They will also be able to top up their Oyster by touching their handset on Oyster ticket machines in tube stations or at Oyster ticket stops. If a trialist’s phone rings, they can still answer the call and continue to make a transaction. A call or text message will not interfere with the NFC service.
Trialists will also be able to touch the NFC-enabled handset on selected smart posters at the launch and at other locations over the course of the trial. The smart posters contain embedded tags which serve as shortcuts for services enabled through the handset. Once the user taps the poster with the handset, they will automatically dial a number, send a text message or be sent a shortcut to a mobile internet site with more information about the subject on the poster e.g. an event taking place or downloading content.
The trial will also examine mobile payments using the Barclaycard payment application in the O2 Wallet. A subset of trialists will be able to use the growing number of ’contactless’ payment readers at retailers in and around London to purchase goods for GBP 10 or under. They will simply need to tap their phones on the secure reader and transactions will be completed in a matter of seconds.
In the initial phase of the trial, Barclaycard will credit each phone with GBP 200 worth of non-reloadable funds which trialists can use and spend as they see fit at any participating retailer. As well as making payments, they will also be able to use the phones to check available funds and to locate retailers close to them that accept ’contactless’ payments, including Books Etc, Chop’d, Coffee Republic, EAT, Krispy Kreme, Threshers and YO! Sushi.
The partners are keen to extend the payment functionality delivered to trialists as part of the O2 Wallet and are actively discussing the opportunities to develop the trial service further in 2008. Possible developments include PIN capability, over GBP 10 purchases and reloadable / credit funds capability.
AEG Europe, which operates The O2, will also be looking into how the NFC handset can be used to enhance the customer experience at The O2. All trialists will be able to use their NFC handsets to gain entry into the blueroom at The O2 - the exclusive bar for O2 customers and guests in the venue. The experience will be managed by O2 Angels whose own NFC handsets will display the name of the trialists enabling a personalised greeting into the blueroom.
Cath Keers, Customer Director, O2 UK continued: “This trial is going to provide insights which will prove crucial to getting the customer experience right as we bring NFC on mobile to market. But the trial is just the start of this journey. For this to work we will need the whole ecosystem to come together which means mobile operators, banks and retailers all working together to fulfill a shared vision. If we get this right we can place the UK at the forefront of technology innovation.”
About Near Field Communications (NFC)
NFC is a short range wireless connectivity technology standard designed for simple and safe communication between electronic devices. NFC is essentially contactless functionality that can be used with a variety of devices from mobile phones that enable payments, transport and ticketing to digital cameras that send their photos to a TV set with just a touch.
This makes it suitable for applications and services which make plastic cards or paper tickets obsolete, resulting in cost savings and a solution to business needs in multiple industries. NFC changes the way consumers interact with devices and services in their surrounding.
Communication is enabled by bringing two NFC compatible devices within a few centimetres of one another or for the two devices to literally “touch” one another. NFC is compatible with the 13.56 MHz family and is based on the ISO standard 18092 approved in 2003 that integrates standard 14443 (which defines so-called “proximity” systems that can reach over 10 cm), as well as Sony’s FeliCa and Philips’s MIFARE systems (e.g. Oyster).
- Trialists are O2 customers (a mix of pre-pay and post-pay) and all are regular Oyster users
- 225 trialists will receive the Barclaycard application. The criteria for selection of these trialists is that they have to be over the age of 18 and travel to and from work in the London area, where contactless payment readers are available, five out of seven days of the week
- The trialists have been recruited by an email and a call campaign
- Trialists will receive a package of incentives for participating in the trial including a combination of £50 Oyster credit from Transport for London, £60 of prepaid airtime or credit to their monthly bills from O2, and £200 credit for purchases from Barclaycard
- In addition to Transport for London, Transys, Barclaycard, Visa Europe, AEG and Nokia, O2 has been working with a number of other partners and suppliers to make the trial possible.
- O2 and Nokia are collaborating on handsets that support NFC applications. In addition to the Nokia 6131 NFC phones used in this project Nokia has also offered O2 a limited number of test or prototype phones that support the Single Wire Protocol (SWP) and the SIM as the Secure Element, or area where the applications are stored.
- Venyon managed the Over The Air (OTA) services including the OTA download and personalization of the Barclaycard pre-paid payment application and corresponding user-interface application (Visa Mobile Application).
- Giesecke & Devrient (G&D) handles the secure data management for the Barclaycard application based on G&D’s Java card operating system. It is planned that in subsequent trial phases all NFC-applications will reside on NFC-enabled SIM cards.
- NEC and Fortress worked with O2 and AEG on the VIP club application.
- Innovision supplied the smart tags for the posters.
- Parrot supplied digital photo frames for touch and uploading of photos from the NFC phones.
- Consult Hyperion provided consulting and development services to O2.
O2 is a leading provider of mobile and home broadband services to consumers and businesses in the UK. These services include voice, text, media messaging, games, music and video, as well as always on data connections via GPRS, 3G, ADSL2+ and WLAN. Every month, O2’s 17.9 million customers send well over a billion text messages. O2 UK is part of Telefónica O2 Europe which comprises mobile network operators in the UK, Ireland and Slovakia along with integrated fixed / mobile businesses in Germany and the Czech Republic. Telefónica O2 Europe also owns 50% of the Tesco Mobile and Tchibo Mobilfunk joint venture businesses in the UK and Germany respectively as well as having 100% ownership of Be, a leading UK fixed broadband provider
O2 was ranked as 5th best place to work in the Best Companies to Work for 2007 List and has been awarded a two-star accreditation denoting an ’outstanding’ company.
About Transport for London
TfL is a functional body of the Greater London Authority, and implements the Mayor of London’s Transport Strategy and manages transport services across the Capital.
The TranSys consortium, whose principal partners are EDS and Cubic, is responsible for developing, installing, managing and maintaining London’s automated fare collection system, which includes the contactless smartcard Oyster, on behalf of Transport for London.
Barclaycard is a multi-brand credit card business with 9.6m UK customers and 7.6m international cards in issue. It is one of Europe’s leading credit card businesses and is the fastest growing credit card business in the United States.
About Visa Europe
’Visa Europe is a leading European payment system and provides member banks with the Visa payment brand which enjoys unsurpassed acceptance around the world.’
Nokia is the world leader in mobility, driving the transformation and growth of the converging Internet and communications industries. Nokia makes a wide range of mobile devices and provides people with experiences in music, navigation, video, television, imaging, games and business mobility through these devices. Nokia also provides equipment, solutions and services for communications networks.
Tel. +44 771 2020937 / +44 1753 565656
+44 20 7608 4682
Transport for London
Tel. +44 207 1261464
Tel. +44 20 7462 7305
Tel. +44 7766364908
Tel. +44 207 534 0623
Tel. +44 845 603 8498
Tel. +358 7180 34900
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