Analysts have hailed the mobile-commerce partnership between Everything Everywhere, Vodafone and O2, claiming that it will drive the adoption of mobile payments in the UK.
The SIM-based wallet system was announced yesterday and will allow customers to pay for goods and services with a mobile phone using near-field communications (NFC) technology.
David Snow, senior analyst at Juniper Research, told V3.co.uk that this ecosystem will drive the NFC market in the UK, and will represent a direct challenge to Google's Wallet service.
"We have seen large players from all sectors launching wallet services recently. The battle for control of our mobile wallets has begun," he said.
"What this UK joint venture does is to kick start the market in a similar way to operator joint ventures in the US. At least one in five smartphones will have NFC functionality by 2014, and mobile-based transactions will approach the $50bn mark."
In terms of security, Snow argued that the SIM-based approach will be one of the safer methods of creating a mobile wallet, possibly giving it the edge over Google Wallet.
"From a user perspective it may also be more convenient when it comes to changing device," he said.
Charlotte Patrick, principal analyst at Gartner, agreed that a partnership between the major operators will drive the creation of NFC-based infrastructure in the UK.
"The networks appear to have partnered to stop Google taking control, and it will be interesting to see how Google's offering works in conjunction with this ecosystem," she said.
"The single NFC system will help manufacturers create NFC-based devices, and will benefit retailers. It also provides a better customer experience as they will have to use only one piece of technology."
Patrick also sees the networks working in collaboration to deliver improved mobile marketing services.
"The joint venture will see networks providing more targeted information to users, much like the O2 More text messaging service," she said.
However, there are still questions about the exact method of billing which the networks have yet to answer. Both analysts expect in-carrier billing to be used in some form.
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