UK mobile operator Orange will be the first to launch a public NFC payment solution on an Android device. The Quick Tap service had previously been available for over a year, but was limited to undesirable Samsung feature phones. The revamped service will be available on Samsung's popular Galaxy S3 device from September 5th onwards.

New and upgrading Orange customers who opt for a Samsung Galaxy S3 will be able to download the Quick Tap application from Wednesday. A free £50 credit will be applied to the accounts of those who register their Galaxy S3 for Quick Tap between the 5th of September and the 5th of October.

This announcement comes at a time when many UK retailers are upgrading their point-of-sale terminals to add NFC technology, with notable names including Marks & Spencer and Co-op. It is without question that the UK is moving towards widespread adoption of NFC payments.

However, Orange have failed to provide information on the underlying technology used in the Android version of Quick Tap. The Galaxy S3 has an embedded secure element, as well as support for external SIM secure elements. Based on the actions of Orange in France, one might assume that Orange UK have opted for SIM secure elements, meaning that those wishing to make use of Quick Tap will require a phone that possesses both hardware and software support for the Single Wire Protocol, as well as a new SIM card.

UPDATE: I've received word from Orange that they will indeed be using new SIMs as the secure element for Quick Tap on Android. This means that the majority of NFC-enabled Android devices will be able to use the application, as long as Orange have approved each device. Notable exceptions likely include the Nexus devices, as it is unclear whether Google have enabled SIM secure element support in 'vanilla' Android. Quotes can be found below.
"To use Quick Tap, you need the Orange secure SIM as well as a Quick Tap enabled handset that has been tested and authorised by Orange.  Contactless mobile technology has been developed and rigorously tested to ensure customers’ personal data will be protected and secure."
"If you upgrade to a Quick Tap payments compatible phone, you MUST make sure you activate the new SIM we send to you, payments won’t work without it."

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One Response so far.

  1. Anonymous says:

    Will this work with my S2 if I get the sim card?

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