NFC contactless payments come to the UK

For those of you unaware, Near-Field-Communication is the next big thing when it comes to mobile payments. Instead of fumbling about inside your wallet for your credit or debit card, NFC technology allows you to pay for you goods by simply swiping your phone over the payment device.

The problem is that this has been the next big thing for a while, it has just been slow to catch on - until now. Engadget is reporting that, in the UK at least, we're one step closer thanks to a partnership between Orange and Barclaycard.

They're dubbing it "Quick Tap" and both Orange and Barclay's are calling it a whole new movement:

Quick Tap with contactless payments from Barclaycard is a new service from Orange and Barclaycard that allows you to buy things with your phone.

No cards, no cash. Just tap and you've paid. It's a whole new movement. And you can start yours today.

There's even a handy youtube video explaining what it is and how it works. Don't get too excited just yet, though. For one, you'll need to have a either Barclaycard credit or debit card, or a credit card from Orange themselves. There's a further caveat, as well - there's currently only one phone that supports it, the unremarkable Samsung Tocco Lite. Orange promises that more supported phones will be available soon, but there's no word if existing NFC-capable handsets such as the Nexus S will be joining them.

In the US, Google themselves have been trying to push NFC as a payment mechanism. Hopefully it'll only be a matter of time before other operators the world over join in.

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