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Issue #2003 - 08 (March 2003)
(Updated Mar. 10, 2003)


Mobile Operators Team Up for m-commerce Payment
By Iain Thomson - Sent to us by e-mail

A new industry body is to design technology it hopes will speed up the adoption of mobile commerce.
The Mobile Payment Services Association (MPSA) has been formed by mobile operators including Vodafone, T-Mobile, Orange and Telefonica.

It wants to allow credit and debit cards to be billed for services, such as video clips, viewed on mobile devices. The mobile networks will hold credit card information while the MPSA will provide an easy-to-use and secure interface for the customer.

For smaller payments, under 10 (6.80), a similar but reduced service would be offered, aimed in part at pre-pay phone users. 

Currently mobile phone users make payments by reverse Short Message Service (SMS), where network operators agree to bill a set amount from accounts on receipt of a special SMS message.

"Reverse charge SMS is a very simplistic method of payment," said Janine Young, MPSA communications manager. "We've already got m-pay and can charge sales to the mobile phone account, but we want an interoperable solution."

Tim Jones, the co-creator of the Mondex electronic payment system, has been named MPSA chief executive.

"We're not expecting people to go into Oxford Street and wave their phone to pay for clothes," said Jones.

"But as screens get bigger, sounds get better and cameras are added to phones, there's going to be a whole host of goods and services you'll be able to buy, including music, videos and gambling services." 

Once payments start MPSA will take a small slice of any transaction to fund research and development. It hopes to reduce charges as soon as possible to "reassuringly inexpensive" levels.

The association will design the specification and then outsource the building of it. A system should be available within 12 months.

MobileInfo Comments and Advisory: We thought there were enough mobile payment forums. If one United Nations body (security Council) can not solve world's political problems, how can five different mobile payment bodies? Are we missing something?

 Note: This news release may contain forward-looking statements within the meaning of section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and section 21E of Securities Exchange act of 1934 in USA. Similar provisions exist in other countries. There is no assurance that the stipulated plans of vendors will be implemented. MobileInfo does not warrant the authenticity of the information. Readers should take appropriate caution in developing plans utilizing these products, services and technology architectures.  All trademarks used in this summary are the property of their respective owners.

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