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As the 21st century races on, three mobile heavyweights have joined forces to draw up a plan for the future of mobile payments in the UK. Online banking is now commonplace, but experts, such as PricewaterhouseCoopers, predict mobile payments will become commonplace in the near future too.

Today the Financial Times reports that the proposed mobile payments system could rival the Google Wallet - which is expected to launch here this spring. The proposal was submitted to the European Commission for approval this week, after months of discussions.

However, mobile operator Three has raised competition concerns, saying it was 'largely excluded' from the process - a joint venture between France Telecom and Deutsche Telekom, Vodafone and O2 (which is owned by Telefonica). The operators say the payments system would be 'run independently' and be 'open to all'.

This follows a recent announcement by the UK Payments Council that we would see an industry-wide mobile payments system for all banks by the end of 2012.

The mobile payments system that these three mobile giants propose would allow customers to pay for goods and services with a smartphone, remotely as well as in shops with contactless terminals.

Visa and Mastercard are also investing in mobile payments technology - and Visa expects that around half of the payments it handles will come from mobile services by 2020.

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