Vodafone Group Plc and T-Mobile International AG today announce an initiative to create an interoperable mobile payment platform to accelerate customer and merchant adoption of mobile transactions. The companies are planning to launch the open platform toward the end of the year, with an initial roll out in Germany and the UK. Vodafone and T-Mobile hope that other operators will join them in launching the payment platform.
The payment scheme will deliver a secure and easy-to-use payment solution for the purchase of goods and services via a mobile device. Wireless customers simply store their personal details and preferred payment options in a virtual wallet, and then choose which payment instrument they wish to use when making payments via their mobile phone, similar to undertaking a transaction from a conventional wallet.
Multiple payment options will be available including traditional credit and debit cards, making transactions possible with any participating merchant of the scheme. It is also possible, as part of this scheme, that smaller purchases will be billed direct either to the customer's bill, by pre-paid top-up card or using other micro payment mechanisms. The aim of the scheme is to provide an end-to-end experience that is convenient, secure, user-friendly and trustworthy.
Thomas Geitner, Chief Executive, Global Products and Services, Vodafone, said "An open, interoperable platform for mobile payments will be a significant enabler of m-commerce, enhancing the array of content, services and commerce options available to customers. Our goal is to bring additional value to customers by turning their mobile phones into convenient wallets. We believe mobile customers should be able to use their devices as a payment tool, much as they use their credit or debit cards or cash today."
"There is a strong need for industry synergies to drive the usage of mobile data services," said Nikesh Arora, Executive Board Member, New Business, T-Mobile and CEO, T-Motion. "We see a global vision to make the mobile device multifunctional, a phone "too" approach -consumers using their devices for phonecalls, as a games console, a messaging terminal or a virtual wallet. We aim to offer a seamless end-to-end solution for consumers and enterprises and integrating commerce into that solution is a key milestone."
Encorus Technologies, owned by eONE Global, is working with the operators on this initiative by combining its PaymentWorksTM software with the payments expertise of First Data Corp, the world's largest payment processor (NYSE: FDC) and eONE Global's largest investor.