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GSMA and EPC announce agreement on mobile payments

Following yesterday’s dialogue about the
long tail
of banking being mobile focused, the EPC and
GSMA announced a cooperative agreement for mobile payments this week.  Here’s
the press release:

GSMA Press Release 2008
GSMA Teams Up With European Payments Council

Alliance will accelerate deployment of mobile payment services

30th
June 2008, London: The GSMA, the global trade body for the mobile industry, and
the European Payments Council, which represents 8,000 banks in the European
Union and EEA and Switzerland, are to work together to accelerate the deployment
of services that enable consumers to pay for goods and services in shops,
restaurants and other locations using their mobile phones.

Both the GSMA
and the EPC envisage that this cross-industry cooperation will enable banks to
deliver better mobile payments services to their customers, supported by mobile
operators’ infrastructure. These services will be facilitated by a ‘Trusted
Service Manager’, which will support banks and mobile operators in the
distribution, configuration and activation of the bank’s payment application on
the UICC within users’ NFC handsets. The GSMA, through its Pay-Buy-Mobile
initiative, and the EPC will focus initially on defining a contractual framework
document detailing the minimum set of requirements for a Trusted Service Manager
to interface with banks and mobile operators.

"Together, the European
Payments Council and the GSMA are well-placed to develop the tools our members
need to deploy mobile payment services that will work internationally to the
benefit of consumers," said Alex Sinclair, Chief Technology Officer of the GSMA.
"We look forward to a productive working relationship with the EPC."

"We
are convinced that this cross industry cooperation between GSMA and EPC is the
best way forward for efficiently enabling the mobile as a channel for initiation
of payments in SEPA, and this cooperation model could also be a model for other
parts of the world," said Gerard Hartsink, Chairman of the EPC.

Following this announcement, Commissioner Reding and Commissioner McCreevy
released an official response (pdf download) from the European
Commission:

EU Commissioner for Internal Market and Services, Charlie McCreevy, and EU
Telecoms Commissioner Viviane Reding welcomed the announcement today of GSMA,
the global trade body for the mobile industry, and European Payments Council
(EPC) to promote the use of mobile payment services. EPC and GSMA have agreed
today to accelerate the deployment of services that enable consumers to pay for
goods and services in shops, restaurants and other locations using their mobile
phones.

“Bringing more competition to the payment services market has been my aim and
agreements such as this show the possibilities that new technologies and
innovative approaches offer in this regard” said Mr. McCreevy. "This is exactly
what the Payment Services Directive, which comes into force at end of 2009, is
designed to promote", he added.

"Voluntary industry agreements by the mobile industry are always welcome
where they bring about concrete benefits of consumers and enhance the
level-playing field for European companies in due respect of competition rules",
said Commissioner Reding. "I therefore applaud today’s announcement which should
bring Europe to the forefront of mobile payments."

Mr. McCreevy recalled that a huge effort is being made by industry and
stakeholders to create the conditions for a Single European Payments Area. In
this regard he said that standards and requirements resulting from the agreement
should be prepared in an open and transparent manner. "It is important that all
stakeholders can have access to the process so that the outcome is of benefit to
all." he said.

About Chris M Skinner

Chris M Skinner
Chris Skinner is best known as an independent commentator on the financial markets through his blog, the Finanser.com, as author of the bestselling book Digital Bank, and Chair of the European networking forum the Financial Services Club. He has been voted one of the most influential people in banking by The Financial Brand (as well as one of the best blogs), a FinTech Titan (Next Bank), one of the Fintech Leaders you need to follow (City AM, Deluxe and Jax Finance), as well as one of the Top 40 most influential people in financial technology by the Wall Street Journal’s Financial News. To learn more click here...

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