O2 has announced the launch of its Wallet application that allows mobile users on any network to send and receive up to £500 between devices and shop online using their bank cards in the latest development in the growing mobile payments space.
The service is available for iOS, Android and BlackBerry users from 8am on Thursday, while a mobile web version will also be available for users on other platforms, such as Windows Phone devices or feature phones, which are currently not supported.
The application allows users to send money either from their bank accounts, or load cash onto the application itself that can be sent to contacts or used to pay for goods, with the maximum transaction set at £500, and daily limit set at £800.
James Le Brocq, managing director for O2 money, unveiled the application in London and said that the firm is confident it will appeal to device owners due to the raft of services the applications offers.
"O2 Wallet will allow users to send and receive money, scan and compare prices and buy products using their mobile devices," he said.
Le Brocq also said that at present the service will be free for the first six months of use, but it may start to levy a charge of 15p per transaction on payments between devices, although he noted that as the Pingit service is entirely free, this may be shelved.
He also revealed that as well as an entry PIN code to the application and a master pass code that's required to confirm a payment or money message, O2 had extensively tested the back-end security of the system powering the service.
"We know security is a hot topic for consumers so beyond the customer facing security the entire stack is secure, and we don't store any card of payment details on the devices," he said.
"We even spent money on getting ethical hackers to crawl over the service, even providing them with some extra information on how it works to try and hack, so we are confident it will be secure from launch."
Le Brocq said Windows Phone was not supported at present due to a lack of internal resources at O2 to develop for the platform, but said it "absolutely intends to" develop for the platform, while dedicated versions of the application will also be developed for use on tablets.
The Wallet application will compete with Barclay's Pingit application, which offers a similar service by letting customers from any bank text money to one another's accounts, as the mobile market continues to grow.
Furthermore, Barclaycard last week unveiled a near-field communication enabled PayTag service that provides a physical piece of sticky material that can be placed on the back of smartphone to enable payments of up to £15.
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