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O2 announces NFC ‘mobile wallet service’, coming this year

O2 has announced partners for a range of its upcoming mobile payments services, which will include an NFC solution.

A post on its News Centre states that the blue network is “committed to launching a mobile wallet service during the second half of 2011”, which will offer a range of capabilities including peer-to-peer payments (a la PayPal), m-commerce (paying for things via text or an app) and ‘contactless payments’, aka NFC.

The partners (Intelligent Environments, Wave Crest, FIS, and Visa Europe) will between them provide a digital wall app, store virtual money, provide transactions and customer support. Visa’s involvement should mean that you’d be able to use O2’s new payment platform in an shop where Visa is accepted.

O2 says that the wallet app, which is being developed by Intelligent Environments, will be compatible with a range of phones. Presumably this will include any NFC-enabled phone including the Samsung Nexus S and NFC’d Galaxy S2.

We’ve spoken to O2 to ask whether or not its considering adopting an SIM-card-with-embedded-NFC scheme like the one Orange announced earlier this year. This would allow you to make contactless payments for things whether your phone came with an NFC chip or not.