O2 believes that its newly launched O2 Wallet will attract new customers, but will not use the available-to-all service to dangle offers to join the network.

O2 Wallet has very deliberately been created to work across all networks rather than tied to just O2 customers – something that O2 Money MD James Le Brocq told TechRadar was vital.

"What we are doing is very much seen as a differentiator for O2," said Le Brocq.

"You can reserve differentiators for your customers of your core business or you can say 'for this to work most effectively it has to be open to all'. Clearly with O2 Money to be effective it has to be open to everybody.

"Secondly, this becomes a new means of acquiring customers because they see O2 in a new light, they are attracted to it."

Potential reach

With the app potentially on thousands of phones belonging to customers to other networks, the shopping and deals element seems an obvious marketing opportunity for O2, but Le Brocq insisted that this had not been part of the planning.

"We don't have a plan to do that," he said. "To be clear it's not our intention to push anything down the throats of users with O2 Wallet."

Le Brocq is aware that the arrival of another major player – in Barclay's Pingit service – will draw comparison, but believes that the services offer different things.

"The money message thing is the hook and thing that will get people using it," he added. "It is novel and it is innovative.

"I know that for a lot of people [Pingit's attraction] is getting the balance of your Barclays account, not having to go through the internet banking service that appeals."