UK cross operator NFC payments scheme will be okayed by EC shortly.
Project Oscar is seeking to establish a “single contact point for advertisers, media agencies, retailers and brands,” to market payments and promotions to UK NFC phone owners.
It represents a defensive measure by UK operators against OTT mobile wallet projects from Google and PayPal. And it's little surprise that these two firms were among those that shopped the scheme to the European Commission antitrust agency.
3UK and Virgin weren't happy either, as the project excluded them.
The EC has stated its concern at Oscar's potential to 'block future competitors from offering their own mobile-wallet services to customers in the UK, or to degrade the quality of these competing mobile wallets'.
But now the FT reckons that the regulators will approve it with “few or no remedies".
The approval of Oscar won't do much to clear up the messiness around mobile wallets. The fact is that most carriers are pursuing individual schemes alongside this cross operator JV.
O2 UK has its own wallet live, while Vodafone and Telefonica are working with Visa, Deutsche Telekom recently pledged co-operation with MasterCard and Orange has a live service - QuickTap - live with Barclaycard.