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Orange, Telefonica Moviles, T-Mobile and Vodafone form a new association to drive interoperable mobile payments
Posted on 27-Feb-2003 17:26 | Tags Filed under: News

Orange, Telefónica Móviles, T-Mobile and Vodafone today announced that they have signed an agreement to form a new Mobile Payment Services Association aimed at delivering an open, commonly branded solution for payments via mobile phones, designed to work across all operator networks. The solution will work across country boundaries and will seek to complement existing industry solutions. Its name and branding will be announced in due course.

For customers, the aim is to provide the opportunity to purchase a wide range of digital and physical goods and services with their mobile phones using an easy, secure solution. The solution aims to become the industry standard for m-commerce payments. Merchants and merchant acquirers will benefit from a standard set of interfaces through which they will gain access to a potentially huge international customer base. Software and solution vendors will benefit from published technical interfaces enabling the development of compliant m-payment products and services. Operators will benefit from a standard way of integrating and efficiently managing their relationships with merchants, merchant acquirers and content providers.

Just as interoperability provided the key to the rapid growth of SMS messaging in Europe, interoperable mobile payments should help make m-commerce a reality.

In addition to the four founding members, 3, debitel, KPN Mobile group, O2 and TMN have expressed interest in joining the Mobile Payment Services Association, and the four founding members are also inviting other operators to participate. The aim is to make the new initiative available to the largest possible number of mobile phone users.

The Mobile Payment Services Association will be headquartered in London, England, and will be managed by a newly appointed CEO, Tim Jones, and a board on which each of the founders will initially have equal representation.

Tim Jones has held a number of senior executive positions, including that of Chief Executive, Retail Banking at National Westminster Bank Plc in the UK. He also co-founded and headed the Mondex electronic cash initiative within National Westminster Bank Plc.

Tim Jones, CEO, said: “The history of the mobile phone industry shows that major business volumes only came when customers had the freedom to reach across and interact with any network. Our mission is to deliver that freedom in the field of mobile payments.”

“An open payment solution will help to take the mobile phone to a new level, where it becomes the single most essential item that people carry with them. Already there are over 270 million customers worldwide represented by our founding members, which presents mobile operators, merchants and the financial services industry with a huge opportunity.”

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