Orange has announced today that the Samsung Galaxy S3 is to be the first Android device to feature its Quick Tap contactless payment technology, in cahoots with Barclaycard.

Just to recap, back in January, we reported that Everything Everywhere – the parent company of Orange and T-Mobile – was teaming up with Barclaycard to make Near Field Communications (NFC) payments a reality for its customers. With NFC payments, customers don’t need to use cash or credit cards, they simply swipe their mobile phones across a special handset at the checkout, and voila.

Then in May, Orange and Barclaycard officially launched this service, the UK’s first contactless mobile phone payments service. Quick Tap uses a secure SIM-based approach to mobile payments, with users requiring a ‘Quick Tap’ enabled handset. The scheme hit the market with a special version of the Samsung Tocco Lite, which comes bundled with Samsung’s own proprietary operating system (Bada).

Despite Samsung’s woes in front of a Californian jury, the company’s popular Galaxy range of smartphones have now been given an extra ‘reason-for-buying’, with its customers able to to make small purchases with the S3 at more than 100,000 UK stores. You’ll know that a store has the special reader when it displays the contactless payments symbol, and Pret A Manger, Eat and Subway are among the outlets to have signed up already.

So, from September 5, Orange customers who take out the Samsung Galaxy S3from Orange shops, telesales and from the Orange website will be able to make contactless payments of up to £20 by simply tapping their phone on the payment terminal at the point-of-sale. To use it, you have to download an app and activate the Barclaycard service. Added bonus: customers who activate the service between 5th September and 5th October will receive £50 free to spend using their phone.

“We are really excited to be launching Quick Tap payments on one of the most popular smartphones of the year,” says Simeon Bird, Director of Propositions, Orange UK. “Contactless mobile payments are a secure and convenient alternative to cash and cards and we are pleased to be the first network brand in the UK to offer its customers such an innovative service.”

Orange customers can load funds of up to £150 onto their Quick Tap account, using any UK MasterCard or Visa debit or credit cards. The Samsung Galaxy SIII was the highly anticipated follow-up to its previous SII model, and the company previously reported that it hoped to notch up 10m sales in July alone.