Orange is betting heavily on the prospects of contactless payments, powered by NFC (Near Field Communication) technology. In the UK, they will be piloting the service using Samsung’s bada-powered Wave 578, while for its own backyard they’ll use the Samsung Galaxy S II. As far as I’ve understood, they won’t be offering some special version of the smartphone — rather they seem to talk about NFC-enabled SIM cards, something South Korea’s SK Telecom also wants to try out.
The mentioned technology uses new generation of secure SIM cards and is developed as per specifications of French mobile contactless association (AFSCM).
Orange is the leading mobile operator in France and also has strong presence in other European countries. They definitely have the resources (i.e. money) to pull this off. Similarly, we’ll be definitely following what they and other players in the emerging contactless payments market are doing and get back to you with anything cool we hear. Stay tuned…