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Weve and MasterCard Contactless Payments to Launch in 2015

Kirsty Styles

weve logoWeve and MasterCard have announced a contactless mobile payments partnership, with the platform set to go live with consumers in 2015.

This will be available to around 80 per cent of people - customers of Weve JV owners Vodafone, O2 and EE - via contactless SIMs developed as an extension of MasterCard’s existing contactless cards infrastructure. At a launch event in central London, Mastercard highlighted the success of contactless on the city’s buses, which saw 3m taps since December alone, so this is certainly something to look out for too.

Weve CEO David Sear told Mobile Marketing that it now has a ‘commercial agreement’ with banks, via the MasterCard partnership. Banks will be able to plug in their existing payments infrastructure and pay for the service on a general usage rather than a percentage of transaction model, he told us. "We want volume, we want scale, we want ubiquity", Sear said.

Sear confirmed that payments will offer another source of data that it is hoping to use in combination with its suite of mobile marketing products, namely display, launched in beta last week, SMS and loyalty, the last of which is set for launch next week. The company could, for example, know that one of its display ads had led to a purchase and could then text the shopper with suggestions of similar products and offers to get them to continue shopping.

He said they won't have any 'basket level' information, what people actually bought, but would have access to other shopper bevahiour. As Weve starts to work with retailers - increasingly through their upcoming loyalty offering - Sear confirmed that they will have access to even more detailed shopping data.

Weve's director of product Sean O’Connell told Mobile Marketing last month that outside of Google, Facebook and Twitter, they think they've already got the largest first-party data set in the UK. Weve already knows your age, gender and location, thanks to the data that comes from its telco owners, but Sear stressed at the event today that people will still be anonymous 'whatever happens with our marketing solution'.

Although NFC technology is yet to be part of Apple’s strategy, the Weve CEO said he believes the company will get on board as the market develops.

This is another piece in the puzzle for telcos in their bid to place themselves back at the heart of the mobile industry and it looks to be coming together nicely. After dropping off the radar last year, a third Weve announcement for 2014, outlining its loyalty opportunity, will happen next week. No doubt location will come into play here, coupled with its growing retail partnerships.