Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Mobey Forum launches pioneering guidelines on how to implement mobile remote payments

HELSINKI, FINLAND: Mobey Forum, the global leader in defining a sustainable and prosperous mobile financial services ecosystem, has released the market’s first white paper which details how mobile remote payment technology can effectively be delivered to end-users by leveraging existing systems and establishing an open infrastructure. Free to download from www.mobeyforum.org, the white paper will be of particular interest to senior decision-makers at financial institutions.

Entitled Mobile Remote Payments General Guidelines for Ecosystems, the white paper focuses on payments where two parties are able to send and receive or exchange funds using the mobile channel, irrespective of where they are located. For example person-to-person mobile money transfer or payment to merchant, where the mobile device does not need to be in close proximity to a point-of-sale terminal.

With contributions from a multitude of players from the banking, mobile and payments industry that represent the entire ecosystem including Caisse d’Epargne, Deutsche Bank, DnB NOR, Nokia, Nordea, Royal Bank of Scotland and TeliaSonera, the white paper highlights three key findings:

* The important role of the mobile phone number and how this can be used instead of bank account details. This enables a payer to initiate a fund transfer using the payee’s phone number and without the need to know their bank account or card details, ensuring customer convenience and confidentiality.

* The needs of different markets vary considerably and what might be an efficient solution for one market might not be acceptable for another. Organisations will need to consider many factors when selecting the operating model to deploy.

* Establishing and agreeing a roadmap to mass-market interoperability is key to drive adoption. The white paper suggests that financial institutions should start with today’s infrastructure and rules, and gradually evolve towards direct interoperability through standardisation and small system changes.

Ron van Wezel, chairman of Mobey Forum and Director of Emerging Payment Streams at Deutsche Bank, comments: “Mobey Forum has been at the forefront of mobile financial services for ten years. Now that the market is starting to adopt mobile payments we believe that the time is right to provide industry guidelines to assist payment providers in deciding how to access the mobile remote payments market effectively. This will help to promote an open infrastructure, which in turn will avoid market fragmentation and improve interoperability for the benefit of the consumer.”

Liisa Kanniainen, executive director of Mobey Forum, adds: “Although there is a lot of media attention and industry discussion regarding proximity payments, such as contactless and near-field-communication technology, Mobey Forum identifies that it is also important to engage in a debate regarding mobile remote payments as the market has huge global potential.

“Stakeholders within this ecosystem want to bring technology to market quickly and effectively by using existing payment infrastructures and standard payment instruments, such as credit transfers between bank accounts and card payments. This paper offers the first real insight into how this can be achieved in a sustainable and scalable approach that will result in the delivery of convenient payment services that today’s mobile customer expects.”

In summary the white paper provides insight regarding the mobile remote payments ecosystem’s components, its stakeholders and their roles initiating, processing and completing a mobile remote payment. It also presents commercially viable operating models required to facilitate a sustainable industry approach, and a comprehensive gap analysis that highlights how existing payment instruments can be leveraged to maximise return on legacy technology investments.

In conclusion the document summarises core processes that will need to be developed or enhanced by providers of mobile remote payment services, such as registration and set-up, sending and requesting payments and customer support.

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