TDC, Telenor, TeliaSonera and Three are cooperating on the launch of a digital wallet service based on NFC (Near Field Communications) in Denmark, the operators said on Thursday.
The roll-out will start this fall, but it will take a few years before the technology reaches widespread adoption, according to the operators. The number of NFC-compatible phones and take-up among retailers will determine the pace, a spokesman at TDC said.
Consumers will be able to use their mobiles to pay for goods, services and travel, at a discount if digital coupons are available, and also open doors at hotels or borrow a book at the library, according to the operators' vision of the future.
For users, the operators working together will mean that they can switch from one to the other and still bring their wallet with them, the operators said.
For the project to become a success, the operators will need backing from all parts of the technology and merchant ecosystem, including phone makers, banks, card companies and last but not least retailers. The announcement didn't have any details on such partnerships.
Operators are increasingly getting together to push mobile payments using NFC. The announcement in Denmark follows the creation of similar projects in the U.S. with the Isis network, and recently also in the U.K.
The operators are hoping to gain greater control of the payments market by offering a single platform, according to market research company CCS Insight.