A mobile phone e-wallet scheme proposed by the UK's 'leading' mobile network providers is expected to be approved this week by European Union (EU) regulators.

Vodafone, O2 and Everything Everywhere (Orange and T-Mobile) have been waiting for EU approval for 'Project Oscar' since a proposal in March.

Rumours that the venture will get the go-ahead have come about since an unidentified person, said to have inside information, claimed that the project will get "unconditional clearance".

Digital cards will be stored inside mobile phone handsets, and they will allow users to pay for products in selected stores.

Google is opposing the idea as it is developing an e-wallet system which will work in a similar way. The UK's smallest network, Three, is also against the plans as it believes those larger companies would gain a monopoly on mobile payments.

Near field communication (NFC) technology, which allows phones to be tapped or swiped above a reader in order to make payment, is already being used in a number of mobile devices. Orange and Barclaycard announced yesterday that the Samsung Galaxy S3 would have this technology installed.

Posted by Peter Robinson

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Written by Mazuma

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