Orange launches “Quick Tap”, brings NFC based mobile payments to the UK

While Americans wait for Isis to launch sometime in 2012, and the Japanese have been enjoying near field enabled mobile payments since before the first iPhone came out, over in the UK Orange has announced that “Quick Tap” is launching today. Here’s how it works: First, you need to be an Orange customer. Simple enough. Second, you need you need a Quick Tap enabled phone, and the only one that actually supports this is the Samsung Tocco, a feature phone that many of you will likely roll your eyes at. Third, you need to have a bank account with Barclays. This is starting to get a bit ridiculous, isn’t it? And finally you need to get a Quick Tap enabled SIM card. Jump through all the hoops and you get £10 to spend wherever you like and 10% off all your purchases for the first 90 days. Oh and you can’t make any purchases worth over £15. It’s a rough first start, but it’s a start none the less, and hopefully they’ll be more devices added soon, along with support from additional financial institutions.

What we want to know is what about T-Mobile customers? Technically Orange doesn’t exist anymore, it’s a part of “Everything Everywhere”, the new joint venture between Orange and T-Mobile where both operators agreed to share the same network and even up joint retail shops. If Orange customers can get Quick Tap, why can’t T-Mobile customers? We’re also curious to know what’s stopping someone from shoving a Quick Tap enabled SIM card inside something like a Nexus S, which is also NFC enabled. Why isn’t that listed as a Quick Tap supported device?

In a perfect world it would be Visa and MasterCard making applications that you install on your device, whatever brand it may be, whatever OS it’s running, and then off you go. No need to go through all these additional steps.

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