TUESDAY 28 AUG 2012 10:54 AM


Later this year, the UK will get 4G phone service from Everything Everywhere. The brand is a joint venture by Orange and T-Mobile, though it is not a merger of the two companies. The EE brand will be the 4G provider. It will not be called Everything Everywhere. If that's not confusing enough, enter MasterCard.

MasterCard announced a five-year partnership with EE, or whatever its name shall be, to develop a digital payment system for EE, Orange and T-Mobile services. MasterCard has a standing relationship with Orange as the two companies introduced NFC services, a contactless payment system, three years ago.

The NFC service will be available to both Orange and T-Mobile customers for use at 100,000 UK retailers. The partnership may include future forays into digital payments, loyalty programmes and money transfers.

Chief marketing officer of EE, Gerry McQuade says, "By moving our existing co-branded card offers onto mobile devices, we are closer to a world where our customers will be able to use their phone to pay for travel to work, pay for small purchases and take advantage of loyalty rewards from their favourite retail outlets."

MasterCard will gain access to EE's 27 million customers while EE will streamline its payment system and provide innovative services to its users. The only thing left is to come up with a brand name.