EE, the UK's largest mobile network operator, have today announced the launch of their NFC payment service named 'Cash on Tap'.

The service has resulted from a partnership between EE and Mastercard, allowing users to pay at virtually all contactless point of sale terminals in the UK. This is the second major public launch of an NFC payment service in the UK, with Orange (part of EE) launching Quick Tap for Android in 2012.

Cash on Tap, like Orange Quick Tap, uses a SIM-based secure element to store the user's card details. The initial devices - Samsung's Galaxy S4 and S3, along with Sony's Xperia SP - support dead battery mode, so payments are still possible when the device's battery has been depleted. The service is prepaid, meaning that users will have to top up their accounts with one of their existing physical debit or credit cards.

EE have informed NFC Brief that contactless SIMs compatible with Cash on Tap have been issued to new customers since May of 2013, with older existing customers being able to obtain a new SIM by contacting customer services.

EE will be promoting Cash on Tap by offering £5 to new users of the service, with an additional £5 upon the first top up of the user's account. Cash on Tap vouchers will also be made available in the future, allowing for NFC payment gift cards to be exchanged.

Cash on Tap will be available for download through the Google Play Store on the 17th of July. The service will be available to EE's pay monthly and pay as you go subscribers, but only on devices purchased through EE. This suggests that there are firmware modifications in the compatible devices needed to enable support for Cash on Tap.

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