RBS-owned NatWest and Telifonica’s O2 have broken their partnership, calling into question the future of NFC payments in the UK, according to internetretailing.net.
Datamonitor analyst Giles Ubaghs says, “NatWest’s move away from its joint venture with O2 is likely due to the wider difficulties with government-owned RBS. With austerity becoming a growing concern in the public sector, NatWest’s focus on its core services is perhaps unsurprising.”
According to Ubaghs, the split has left Barclaycard and Orange as the sole joint venture intending to launch a mobile payment product – a fact that may discourage the companies from releasing anything now, since two products are more likely to gain wider public acceptance than one.
“O2 will continue to market their O2 Money prepaid cards to new customers,” Ubaghs told Internet Retailing, “for which they claim to have received over 100,000 applications for in the first few months of its launch.”
Read more here.