Kuala Lumpur, Feb 15 (Asia Pulse) - The widespread use of mobile phones to access the Internet and buy goods and services online was boosted following a agreement between Visa International and Nokia to introduce payment solutions for mobile electronic commerce.
The world's largest consumer payment organisation and the world's number one mobile phone maker signed a global agreement to develop ways in which financial institutions and mobile phone operators can offer secure payment services to their customers through a mobile phone. Visa International said it would carry out joint market development activities and pilot technical payment alternatives.
Nokia and Visa will introduce a standardised means of making secure payments using a mobile phone and which would meet different market requirements for security, risk management and dispute resolution. Visa International said the two organisations were actively working on establishing open specifications, based on the Wireless Application Protocol (WAP) standard, to enable a mobile phone user to make secure, guaranteed payments over the Internet.
Both parties would also collaborate to simplify the payment process by developing a mobile e-wallet to allow for "simple click" purchases. Nokia would also provide server applications based on WAP which would transmit payment data securely over wireless networks to financial institutions, Visa International said. It said a pilot of the technology would take place later this year with MeritaNordbanken in Sweden and Finland.
Nokia Mobile Phone executive vice president and chief technology officer Yrjo Neuvo said Nokia was developing and testing various implementations of secure card payments in the mobile environment, including a pilot Visa card payment via a dual-chip GSM (Global System of Mobile Communication) mobile phone. The mobile phone would contain two plug-in microchips, both the size of a SIM (Subscriber Identity Module) card, he said. He said one chip - with SIM functionality - would be used to identify the subscriber to the phone network and allow the phone user to make calls and access the mobile Internet.
The second chip would be used to make authenticated Visa Credit or debit payments, he said, adding that the second chip would be issued by the user's bank, enabling the bank to manage the risk and security of transaction. He believed that in the next two to three years, consumers would rely increasingly on a range of mobile devices to access the Internet, adding that it was generally accepted that customised and personal devices would be the prevalent means of delivering a broad range of online services to consumers worldwide. He said Nokia estimated there would be one billion mobile phone subscribers by the end of 2002.
Meanwhile, Visa International's New Electronic Channels group is working on establishing a strategic alliance with device manufacturers and other key industry leaders to enable and promote electronic commerce for mobile phones, interactive television and other developing channels.