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- - - - -

Pay by NFC [on a few phones] & get £5 FREE with EE and Mastercard


The ability to pay for goods via the NFC chip in your phone has finally arrived, courtesy of 'Cash on Tap' from EE and Mastercard. What's more, they'll give you £5 just for signing up and £5 when you top up your account.

While this sounds great, there are 2 problems - firstly, you have to be an EE 4G customer to use the service - T-Mobile / Orange historic users need not apply - and only a very limited number of devices are supported, specifically:
  • Samsung Galaxy S4
  • Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini
  • Samsung Galaxy SIII LTE
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 3
  • Samsung Galaxy Note II
  • HTC One
  • Sony Xperia Z1
  • Sony Xperia SP
If you are lucky enough to be on EE with a supported device, you can get started by downloading the app from the Play Store.

As with all contactless payments, your phone can be used for payments up to £20 on supported terminals.

If you try it out and it works well for you - let us know! :)



About the author

PaulOBrien's Photo
Paul O'Brien founded MoDaCo in 2002 as a site focused on Windows Smartphones and has grown it since then by concentrating on providing a friendly community for both experienced and beginner mobile enthusiasts.

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12 Comments

When I saw a news article about this a while ago, I looked into the app and was disappointed that it didn't include T-Mobile and Orange customers.

 

Otherwise it looks like a useful option to have available, even if it only gets used once in a while.

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I got a text message about this a few months ago, excited at first until the "not compatible with your device" message from the market (have a nexus 5).

 

is a shame they have limitited it to the devices they sell rather than the SIMs they provide.

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Is that a San Diego they're using in the promo shots?

And does this version of mobile payments require one of those secure sims you used to require from Orange? Quick-Tap enabled or something along those lines.

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I downloaded and installed this after seeing the article in Paul's Twitter Stream on my Flipboard. To say installation was a nightmare is the biggest understatement in ages. First you need to download the 'over-arching' EE Tap Wallet App from Play Store. Thereafter however, you then have to run this, to get it to download from EE's own servers the requisite Cash On Tap App. To make any of this happen, you have to disable wifi on your device and use up a portion of your 4G data allowance, so that it can verify you have the necessary NFC Sim card installed. It then tells you that this download will commence within 2hrs, but with it being late last night for me, it meant I just had to leave my phone on overnight to take care of this. For my son's phone this evening, it just kept telling me there was no data connection.. All the while whilst being interupted from his Facebook and BlackBerry Notifications popping up, on the perfectly fine data connection the phone DID actually have! Anyway, back to me... I woke this morning tom find it had finally downloaded, so I fired it up... I tried to create the necessary account it asks you to create, only to be told I already have one... Which stated to ring a bell from when I downloaded thin once before on a T-Mobile device only a to be told at the very end it wasn't supported... So I instead then chose the sign in option... And was promptly told my credentials were incorrect. So I tried my alternatives I sometimes use, for my password and memorable date, only to get the same credentials error. I therefore tried the final possibility for my credentials, only I now got a "server is experiencing a hiccup - try again later" error. This persisted for the whole morning until around 1pm (except there was no such server issue, as you will soon see). Eventually, thinking my details must still be wrong, I clicked the "Forgot Details" button, expecting a password reset. Alas instead it then tells you to ring 150 for assistance. So I did... Only to eventually be told that there was no server error. The problem was that after three wrong login attempts, the account gets locked. And this is the ridiculously moronic error message the coders thought to come up with for such an occurrence... "Server hiccup", rather than "account locked - please ring 150" I kid you not. Anyway, they did a reset, and eventually (and I do mean eventually), I finally got into the app and got up and running. The minimum user top amount is £20, so I had to add this in order to get the second free £5 credit from EE (the first gets added on registration itself), but I then had £30, ready to spend. A trip from my home in Newcastle, down to Leeds later today (well yesterday, Saturday now as we are past midnight), and I tried it out at Burger King, whereby sure enough, a simple touch of my phone was all that was needed to pay for our meal - the phone itself coming up with a popup showing the amount deducted a second or two later. All in all therefore, a very simple, clever way to pay for low value purchases, with the actual act of paying being good, easy, and simple. It's just the processes needed to firstly install the app, that are a total and utter nightmare, and thus for the most patient of people only... --- A few things to add... Firstly, you need to set Cash on Tap as your default NFC Payment method for this to work, but the app itself does warn you of this and guides you through turning it on. Secondly, NFC needs to actually be turned on in your phone settings, for this to work. Despite it using the EE Sim NFC chip and not the device battery one built into new devices, nevertheless the setting still needs to be turned on, so be mindful of any potential battery drain. Another point to note is that the app creates a virtual Plastic Card on your device, that can be toggled to show the long card number on the front, as well as the verification code on the rear strip. So you can use this to make payment for online goods too. Finally, the help notes state that payments can be made even if the device is switched off, as long as you still have some battery power left, and then the account will be updated later with any transactions made whilst powered off. The only time it won't work, is if your battery is completely dead. How true or not this all is I cannot yet say, but is pretty cool if it does prove to be true...
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glossywhite
May 18 2014 12:55 AM

NFC is a failed technology, just as miniDISC, UMD etc were. The fact that they're attempting to project a "sleek" PR shot by using another failed product - the San Diego, which is even MORE ridiculous since the device in their own publicity shot IS NOT SUPPORTED (this device is now nigh on 2 YEARS old). This is beyond ridiculous, venturing over the fence, into the land of laughably desperate.

iBeacon is the future, NFC is dead (if it was ever alive).

EE, you really are utterly clueless.




@shadamehr

Please learn how to break giant walls of text into properly formatted, legible and logical paragraphs that don't give readers visual and mental indigestion, since I am not willing to read that eye strain-inducing block of ascii.
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The Soup Thief
May 18 2014 08:46 PM
@glossywhite NFC may be a non-starter but "iBeacon is the future"? Don't make me laugh!
It's a spam magnet proprietary implementation of Bluetooth. Dead in the water.

And fwiw shadamehr's post renders perfectly in Tapatalk, which I'm guessing was how it was written. Yes, the Web view was a bit unwieldy, but that doesn't justify your snotty reply. Remember, Modaco is supposed to be a friendly forum.
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Good grief, just get a contactless card. I use mine all the time and have ditched Oyster as I travel by bus. 

 

All the network providers are RUBBISH and it's time users woke up to this and demand an a actual service for that £30 to £40 per month. 

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Sounds more trouble than it is worth, really.

Might as well just get a phone case which allows you to slip your contactless card in a pocket on the outside to make payments with!
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glossywhite
May 19 2014 11:56 PM

@glossywhite NFC may be a non-starter but "iBeacon is the future"? Don't make me laugh!
It's a spam magnet proprietary implementation of Bluetooth. Dead in the water.

And fwiw shadamehr's post renders perfectly in Tapatalk, which I'm guessing was how it was written. Yes, the Web view was a bit unwieldy, but that doesn't justify your snotty reply. Remember, Modaco is supposed to be a friendly forum.

 

NFC is dead because it has never, ever taken off - it was still-born as it is inherently limited and is poorly implemented. I don't need to justify that comment - the proof is the failure of NFC to be mass adopted. You may not agree and you may not care ... nor do I.

I'll let you get on with stealing soup :).

 

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http://news.techworl...out-mobile-nfc/ It illustrates clearly why NFC never took off.

 

Incidentally, there is no mechanism for a ticket inspector on the buses to check a contactless card.  I could easily get away with free travel if I was to use a 'Boris bus'.  Fortunately for TFL I am an honest person.

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I have an ee issued Sony Xperia Z1 Compact. The app installs OK and when I go through the routine of disabling wifi for it check my account number or something it says 

NEW SERVICES AVAILABLE (0). There are currently no services available for your phone. Please check back regularly for new services.

 

Well, I thought, from everything I've read, that the Z1 compact is exactly the same internals as the Z1 which they list as supported?

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These are just gimmicks.  The mobile phone providers in this country are not truly interested in innovation as they know that some consumers will pay through the nose for pretty rubbish service.  Japan and South Korea and even France are centuries ahead of us in mobile communications.  It's a joke.

 

My contactless debit card is a thousand times more effective than any 'electronic wallet' will ever be and I am not wasting money in data usage.

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