Introducing the Mobile Wallet

Published: 23/02/2011

Mobile-money O2 is upping the ante for mobile money with exciting new products and services in the pipeline. We caught up with James Le Brocq, managing director of O2′s financial services, to get the lowdown.


O2’s financial services arm, O2 Money has come a long way since it launched in summer 2009. Now boasting over 800,000 customers across its pre-paid Visa cards and insurance products,  O2 Money is gearing up for the second stage of development which will see it revolutionise the way you manage and spend money on the go.

Contactless payment systems, which enable you to make and receive payments with a swipe, have been around for a while – just look at London’s Oyster card – but the technology is really reaching maturity now. 

O2 believes the time is right for mobile payment services to go mainstream. Kicking things off this year is the expansion of the O2 Money service to create a Mobile Wallet – a complete mobile money system that will handle a huge range of eventualities, from payments to loyalty schemes and exchanging money with friends. 

More on O2 Money – O2 Money wins two at The Card Awards

To create a complete Mobile Wallet, O2 is building a system that taps into its core skills, matching them with those of partners who can offer services you, as consumers, want. With your smartphone being capable of doing more and more the addition of O2 Money can make using your device to pay for things (both online and in the real world) much easier. 

James Le Brocq explains: 

“We’re building wallet services to assist that increasing trend for mobile shopping but there will be other services like topping up air time and peer-to-peer payments. We intend to build out Mobile Wallet for transport and events.”


O2 has conducted extensive trials around mobile payments and believe it’s time for the technology to go mainstream. Most recently, a trial by O2’s parent Telefónica in Spain found 90 per cent of participants used their contactless-payment-enabled device for payments and 85 per cent thought it was secure enough to use regularly. 

O2 is expanding its financial services team to bring in the expertise required to build the Mobile Wallet into something you’ll love using. James, who joined O2 last year, has a rich pedigree in this area, having previously worked with Barclaycard and Alliance & Leicester. He continues: 

“We’re bringing in financial services experience and combining that with our mobile experience to provide the best of both worlds.”


Right now, O2 is working hard to get the partnerships and infrastructure for the Mobile Wallet in place but expect exciting news on the future of O2 Money soon. James says: 

“Over the course of the next few months we’ll make announcements about who we’ll work with on new O2 Money and Mobile Wallet products and they’ll roll out in the second half of 2011.” 


Stay tuned to the O2 blog for more news on O2 Money and let us know what features you want to see in the Mobile Wallet. 

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