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Was the O2 cash card an inevitable move?

The launch of the O2 visa cash card, which could fall into the hands of children as young as 13, is something which many analysts forecast some time ago. The very fact that millions upon millions of the UK population own at least one mobile phone made this particular piece of equipment the obvious choice for quasi online mobile banking.

The system being introduced by O2 will be administered by NatWest bank and when a card is used a text message will be sent to the owner's mobile phone confirming their remaining balance. While the fact that the cash card could fall into the hands of children as young as 13 has taken away some of the gloss from the announcement, the ability to keep tight control of expenditure, via constant text messages showing the balance of your card, should at least reduce any potential fraudulent activity.

It seems highly likely that the likes of Vodafone, T-Mobile and Orange for example will look to introduce their own mobile banking systems if the O2 service is a success. At a time when the mobile phone industry is crying out for a new income stream this could be the lifeline that many of the big players have been waiting for. Time will tell if the system is ultimately a success although it appears to have been well thought out and has a great chance of becoming commonplace across the UK.

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