Payments using mobile phones ‘not far off’

Payments using mobile phones ‘not far off’
Mobile phones could soon be used to make payments from one person to the other with only the need for a phone number.

The system could be made possible and secure because sim-cards have a similar encryption on them as the chip on a debit card.

Mobile banking solutions group Monetise chief strategy officer, Richard Johnson said: ‘A national payments system potentially with just a mobile phone number is certainly within our sights.’

Monetise was launched in October 2006 and provides a platform for banks to provide secure mobile phone banking to its customers. Users in the UK can currently receive bank balance alerts and make transfers between their current and savings accounts.

The concept of mobile banking is making progress. The group, which operates under the name Monilink in the UK, has made the mobile banking system available from 55% of UK banks and recently reported a million transactions in one month.

Monetise said there is still a way to go before the UK sees a ‘tap and go’ payments system known as Near Field Payments (NFP) using mobile phones. Johnson said: ‘Tap and go won’t be the immediate next step, it won’t be until about 2011 before people have that kind of handset.’

The mobile industry appeared to be bracing for NFP at the beginning of this month as 32 delegates from the police, the government and the mobile phone industry met to discuss the security implications of bringing the system to the mass market.

Jack Wraith, chair of the Crime Communications Strategy Group (CCSG) which hosted the meeting, said: ‘We identified a number of issues we need to address. M-Commerce mobile devices are going to have to be a little bit more complex than a simple mobile wallet.’

The concept was trialled in 2007 with the ‘O2 wallet’. A number of companies, including Nokia and O2, collaborated in the experiment which enabled users to make small payments in shops and access the London transport system by just swiping their mobile phone.

Written by Mobile Today
Mobile Today


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