O2 has confirmed that it is closing its mobile payment service, O2 Wallet. Users of the service have until March 31st to spend the remainder of their balance or withdraw any funds left on the prepaid service.
Launched in April 2012, O2 heralded Wallet as the start of a bright new future for mobile payments. However, the service, which let users load-up money before spending it, failed to catch on.
In a statement on its website, O2 said: “We've decided to close the O2 Wallet to give us time to look into new and better ways to help people manage their money on the move, both in the UK and abroad.”
Its payment-via-message concept came at a time when credit card companies were perfecting their own contactless solutions and Near Field Communications (NFC) tech was finally gaining more traction.
O2 is already working with EE and Vodafone on a new, cross-platform payments service, called Weve.
Mobile payments remain a slowly developing area. Apple’s PassBook and Google Wallet have not gone on to mainstream success, with customers seemingly preferring to use traditional methods and cards to pay for small-ticket items.