Rise of the Planet of the Apps

Sep 6, 2012   //   by Daniel Morris   //   Technology  //  2 Comments

It seems that we’re never a couple of weeks from another step towards a cashless society becoming the norm for the United Kingdom. And today is no different.

Following on from our story back in June regarding being able to withdraw money from ATMs just using your smartphone, comes a new kid on the block called ‘Project Oscar’.

You may be unfamiliar with Project Oscar, but in the near future we could be seeing a lot more of this name, as EU regulators have given it the green light.

‘There was an idea to bring together a group…’

Okay, so it’s not exactly The Avengers and I’m no Nick Fury, but Project Oscar is still a team up of epic proportions that is set to help change the world.

Everything Everywhere (T-Mobile and Orange), O2 and Vodafone have decided to come together to develop a new smartphone-based wallet service that would act as a replacement to cash, credit cards and loyalty cards.

You may be noticing the distinct lack of the popular network Three in this listing. Don’t worry, they are looking to join the team in the near future, making this project unified across the major networks in the UK.

A spokesperson for Three has said “We are pleased the European Commission has taken a thorough look at the proposed m-commerce joint venture,

“We are still studying the detail but we understand that its investigation has found no significant competition issues,” he said.

“We will continue to monitor developments closely and look forward to the invitation to become a customer of the joint venture on the same terms as all participating UK mobile operators.”

Simple and Secure

The mobile network providers have released a statement about the joint venture, saying that Project Oscar will “give consumers a simple and secure shopping experience, allowing them to purchase goods and services using their handsets in physical locations such as shops, using contactless technology, as well as online.”

But this isn’t the first time that a product has come along to take us away from using cash for our purchases. There are multiple rivals to this new project from banks and operating systems alike. As time passes, the list continues to grow, with the likes of Barclaycard, Visa, Paypal and even Google getting in on the digital wallet revolution.

However, the dominance of any e-Wallet may have to wait for a while yet as many retailers have been unable to keep up with the rising demand for cash and cardless payments in their shops.


So has this managed to convince you that the future is mobile? Let us know in the comments below or contact us via Twitter using @Which4u!

If you enjoyed this post, please consider leaving a comment or subscribing to the RSS feed to have future articles delivered to your feed reader.
  • http://blog.which4u.co.uk/keith-mcdonald Keith McDonald

    We tend to get dragged along with technology, whether we like it or not. But I can see it being a case of ‘one step at a time’ in the UK. We’ve clearly grown very comfortable with plastic and ‘chip & PIN’, even so much as to adapt our spending psychology to them. Nevertheless, reliance on plastic already brings its own problems (as we saw at the Olympics), and I can see a reluctance to embrace the revolution towards the digital wallet while banking catastrophes such as that at NatWest are still fresh in the memory. It’s occasions like that, after all, when consumers are reminded of how dependable cash still is.