O2 to launch NFC mobile payments app

O2 phones to trade digital money like Oyster cards

O2 planning a mobile wallet app for its phones with NFC capability.

NFC (near field communication) has already arrived in the UK - sort of. Allowing users to make payments using their handset is one of the proud boasts of the Google Nexus S - even though right now there aren't really any places to use it in this country.

O2, however, is jumping on the future-technology-of-the-moment, according to a spokesperson who announced the company's plans to introduce a "mobile wallet" with compatible handsets sometime later this year.

Full details are being withheld until closer to the mooted release date (we're hearing sometime in the second half of 2011), but the same spokesperson did reveal that O2 were planning to use the tech for mobile payments, person-to-person money transfer and top-ups for its Pay and Go smartphones.

This makes O2 the third provider to express interest in the NFC technology, after the Orange/T-Mobile tag team Everything Everywhere made a similar announcement earlier this week. Aside from the Google Nexus S, the next hot-tip smartphone to incorporate the NFC technology is rumoured to be Apple's iPhone 5 - we'll know more when MWC rolls around on February 14th.