The country's four largest telecommunications companies – Telia, TDC, 3 and Telenor – are working together to allow customers to pay for their purchases at supermarkets and restaurants simply by using their mobile phones. The technology could be in place as early as August, leading a tech analyst to say that the move puts Denmark at the forefront of what will soon become the most widely used method of payment.
"We have big ambitions for mobile payments,” Peter Bredgaard the head of a new company created by the four telegiants, provisionally named 4T, told Jyllands-Posten newspaper. “We envision a future where people will not need to have a wallet in one pocket and a phone in the other.”
The nation’s largest retail chain, Coop, said that its stores will soon be ready to accept mobile phone payments.
The company promised that within one year, customers at any of its 1,200 Kvickly, SuperBrugsen, Irma and Fakta stores will be able to pay for their goods by swiping their mobile phone over thousands of new and updated payment terminals.
"We are testing our new terminals and are very positive about mobile payments and firmly believe that this will be a great success,” Coop spokesperson Jens Juul Nielsen told Jyllands Posten.
Analysts predict that paying with a mobile phone will become the standard in just a few years.
“Mobile payment is going to be huge,” said Torben Rune, head of Netplan A/S , a leading consulting company for technical and market-related services. “It is genius of the major telecommunications companies to join forces to create uniformity. The banks making a similar move at the time is what allowed the Dankort to become our current most common means of payment.”
The companies that make up 4T also envision a future in which a customer’s mobile phone will include their social security card, driver's licence, passport and membership cards for places like fitness centres. They declined to say how much they have invested in the mobile payment idea thus far, but Bredgaard said that “it is enough to make mobile payments a success."