Recklessly irresponsible with your cash? This might just be the answer...
O2 is stepping into the financial services with the launch of 'O2 Money', in effect pre-paid Visa cards. The endeavour (in partnership with NatWest) will enable users to 'pre-pay' cash onto them then use them as you would a normal Visa card, ie recklessly (but now with a limit).
O2's angle is that every time you make a purchase you will receive a text message alert (if you're on O2) and the service will be offered to all existing O2 customers free. It can also be used to top up O2 Pay & Go mobiles.
"O2 has a strong and successful track record of innovation and O2 Money will represent a launch pad into a wide range of mobile banking services," said O2 CEO Ronan Dunne. "We believe that we are at the start of a journey towards the coming together of the phone and the wallet and we intend, through O2 money, to be at the forefront of this trend. This launch represents an important step towards O2 becoming a leading service provider with mobile at its core."
The move - which could become popular with parents looking to keep their kids on a tight leash (not literally... I hope) - is seen as the first step towards integrating mobile phones and financial payments. O2 recently trialled a Near Field Communication (NFC) pilot (think Oyster cards) so its intended direction is clear if it can get manufacturer backing.
In related news O2 Germany has had to temporarily cancel sales of the Toshiba TG01 after stocks became infected with a virus. The cause of the virus isn't known and replacements will be shipped to any customers who accidentally received a faulty device. The virus isn't thought to cause any major damage and is believed to be limited to O2 stock.
That said, if this makes you reconsider purchasing this horrendously unresponsive and UI crippled handset then I consider it job done. Sorry Toshiba, it's beautiful hardware but horrible software.