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Tuesday, 7 May, 2002, 11:48 GMT 12:48 UK
Mobile top ups from cash machines
Woman at cash machine
Run out of phone credit? Head for the cash machine
Mobile users will soon be able to top up their phones from cash machines as Orange teams up with bank Abbey National.

The mobile top-up service will be available to any Abbey National customer who has an Orange pay-as-you-go phone.

The service will be piloted this month and will be rolled out to Abbey National's 3,000 ATMs in the UK by the autumn.

Similar services introduced across Europe have proved popular with customers.

Replacing cash

Mobile users will just have to follow a few simple steps via the ATM screen to have credit of up to 50 added to their phone.

Orange Belgium has offered such a system for three years and 30% of its pay-as-you-go customers now use it.

Electronic transactions firm Euronet is providing the technology.

It has already launched similar services with a dozen other mobile operators in Europe.

The next stage for mobile phones will be using them to pay for other transactions.

Although this has been slow to take off several mobile payment services are now up and running.

In London, some bars, restaurants and hotels around Soho are already offering customers the choice of mobile payments.

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