O2 enters personal finance market with NatWest
Wednesday 15 July 2009
O2, the British mobile phone unit of Spain's Telefonica launched Britain's first cash-card service from a mobile operator on today to give itself a foothold in the promising mobile-money market.
The Visa pre-pay cards issued in partnership with NatWest bank can be loaded online or in stores and used in outlets that accept Visa debit cards. Customers will receive SMS text alerts with an account balance when they make a payment.
Telecoms operators and retail banks such as NatWest, a unit of Royal Bank of Scotland are both fighting fierce competition and tying banking and mobile services is seen as a way to discourage customers from switching to other providers.
"The mobile phone and the wallet are starting to converge. We want to create a bridgehead into this market," Ronan Dunne, O2's UK chief executive, told reporters.
Dunne cited research estimating the mobile payments market could be worth $600 billion by 2013, with 110 million users in Europe alone by 2014.
Helen Page, NatWest's head of marketing and innovation, said: "Giving customers tools to manage their finances is crucial. It's critical to our commercial success that customers stay with us."
Britain's mobile market is extremely competitive, with five operators fighting over the country's population of 60 million. Deutsche Telekom AG has been reported to be trying to sell its T-Mobile UK unit.
Dunne said Telefonica was watching developments at T-Mobile with interest. "We haven't explicitly said whether we're participating in anything," he told Reuters. "To my knowledge, there isn't a formal process going on."
The O2 Visa cards will be available for free to O2 customers from next month and will be free to use within Britain, including at ATM cash machines. Overdrafts will not be possible.
- 1 The Boy in the Dress, TV review: David Walliams' Boxing Day treat is a celebration of being different
- 2 Exclusive: Abusers using spyware apps to monitor partners reaches 'epidemic proportions'
- 3 Andy Murray takes to Twitter to show off his Christmas jumper
- 4 Katie Hopkins speaks out on childhood obesity: 'Parents of fat children should be prosecuted for child cruelty'
- 5 Top 10 travel destinations for 2015: From Haiti and Alaska to Namibia and Iceland
PlayStation and Xbox hacked by Lizard Squad
Exclusive: Abusers using spyware apps to monitor partners reaches 'epidemic proportions'
Dublin court rules brain-dead pregnant mother's life support can be switched off
Margaret Thatcher 'expressed fears of Asian rising' at Anglo-Irish summit in 1984
The 'Black Museum': After 150 years, public set to see exhibits from police’s grisly crime museum
British actor Idris Elba cannot star as James Bond because he is black, says shock jock Rush Limbaugh
Rozanne Duncan: Ukip expels councillor for 'jaw-dropping' comments made in BBC TV interview
Germany anti-Islam protests: 17,000 march on Dresden against 'Islamification of the West'
Ukip member gets into Christmas spirit with Union Flag plea to Santa 'for our country back'
BBC director Danny Cohen: Rising UK antisemitism makes me feel more uncomfortable than ever
Katie Hopkins speaks out on childhood obesity: 'Parents of fat children should be prosecuted for child cruelty'
iJobs Money & Business
Not specified: Selby Jennings: VP/SVP Credit Quant Top tier investment bank i...
Not specified: Selby Jennings: Quantitative Research | Global Equity | New Yor...
Not specified: Selby Jennings: SVP Model Validation This top tiered investment...
Highly Competitive: Selby Jennings: Our client, a leading European Oil trading...