News & Views - Savantor

Mobile Payment Options to Increase

Monday, 19 November 2007

Looking at the articles dominating this edition it seems that mobile payment is rising more rapidly to the top of UK Issuers priority list than was expected.  Several pilots have been announced and the contactless momentum seems to be moving away from cards to mobiles.  RBS, DnBNor and Barclaycard in combination with the payment schemes and other partners have all announced pilots taking place over the next 12 months following rapidly on the heels of the launch of contactless cards in the UK.  The other major players are likely to follow this lead and that of the UK's major mobile phone operators - Orange, Vodafone, T-Mobile, 3 and O2 who earlier in the year launched the PayForIt system that allows subscribers to use their handsets to pay for low value purchases.

Recent research by ABI suggests that development of the market for the chipsets that underpin NFC technology has been slow due to concerns over security.  The ongoing problem was a result of the number of stakeholders involved, including financial services institutions, mobile operators, NFC integrated circuit vendors and original equipment manufacturers, who are struggling to reach an agreement.

GSM operators are pushing to have security mechanisms embedded in the SIM card itself which would allow them to more easily monetise payment application management.  Financial institutions, meanwhile, argue that the security mechanism should be included in the NFC chipset.  Clearly there are concerns around protecting stored data especially financial information, fuelled by recurring security lapses, which has led many financial service operators to treat the technology with caution but these fears now seem to be easing.

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