It looks like Orange's QuickTap mobile payments service isn't going anywhere, despite the fact that the carrier's parent company just signed a five-year deal with MasterCard.
When Orange launched its Quick Tap NFC collaboration with Barclaycard last year, the company had but one phone that utilized the new payments system: the Samsung Tocco Lite. This week, the network is adding one of today's highest end smartphones to the list of QuickPay compatible devices it has.
Orange announced that the Galaxy S III would be the first Quick Tap compatible Android smartphone and anyone upgrading to the device after September 5 will be able to load money onto their handset using any UK MasterCard, Visa, Debit or credit card. New customers will get £50 loaded onto their handset for free. Quick Tap allows customers to make small purchases (up to £20) by tapping their phones against Quick Tap pay terminals in shops around the country. Users can also elect to protect their Quick Tap with a PIN, which is requested after they tap their phone against the Quick Tap terminal.
Last week, Orange's parent company announced a mobile payments deal with credit card giant MasterCard. It's not yet clear how this new deal will affect Orange's Quick Pay program. It's also not clear if Everything Everywhere plans to push ahead with development of the mobile payments service it announced in June of last year alongside rivals Vodafone and O2. The three companies wanted to build a mobile payments service that would be compatible across all of their networks regardless of the device a customer was using. It was supposed to serve as a one-stop-shop for businesses, advertisers and banks looking to jump on the mobile payments bandwagon but it looks like Everything Everywhere is eager to get the ball rolling on its own service.
Whatever the company's plans, the addition of the GSIII to Quick Tap should give the service a boost. No doubt having one of the best phones on the market is a tad more enticing than a budget smartphone with no 3G and Samsung's Bada OS.