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O2 and Nokia team up to offer Oyster card mobile phones

LONDON - London commuters will be able to use a mobile phone to swipe in and out of London Underground barriers under a joint initiative between O2 and Nokia.

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The mobile phone operator and the handset maker have embedded the Oyster swipe card used by London commuters into a mobile phone, with a trial set to start next year.

The mobile phones will include a built-in RFID chip that allows users to pay for train tickets by swiping the handset over the Oyster card reader.

The cost of fare would either be deducted from a top-up account linked to the phone, similar to the pay-as-you-go mobile phone services, or be added to the customer's monthly phone bill.

The Oyster card scheme has already been adapted in conjunction with Barclaycard to include credit card functionality.

The "m-commerce" market has been slow to take off in Europe, with mobile phone users limiting purchases to ring tones.

However, operators in the Far East have offered more sophisticated transaction for years.

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