US wireless firms AT&T, Verizon and T-Mobile have teamed up on a contactless mobile payments venture, according to Bloomberg.
AT&T and Verizon Wireless have equal stakes, with Deutsche Telekom subsidiary T-Mobile USA holding a smaller share, in the venture, which is currently looking for a chief executive officer, says the wire, citing three people with knowledge of the plan.
The partners intend to test the technology at shops in Atlanta and three other cities, says Bloomberg and may use Discover Financial Services to process payments and Barclay to manage accounts.
With contactless technology gaining in popularity, the venture sees the telcos take on card giants Visa and MasterCard for a slice of a potentially lucrative market.
Bloomberg speculates that retailers may be keen to work with the new players having spent years in acrimonious struggles with Visa and MasterCard over interchange fees.
AT&T, Verizon Said to Target Visa, MasterCard With Smartphones - Bloomberg