O2 to launch mobile payment as an app later this year

O2 is applying to the financial regulator for an e-money licence as it prepares to launch its mobile contactless payment services in the second half of this year.

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The telecoms company is putting in an application to the Financial Services Authority to enable O2to act as an independent financial services provider, without the need to partner with a bank.

This will allow O2 to “hold” money on behalf of customers in a virtual “wallet” to enable them to make purchases through their mobiles or use their device to send money to other people.

The service, which is likely to take the form of an app, is due for launch in the second half of this year and will also be available to non-O2 customers.

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