Simpay mobile payments service to launch by mid-year

Simpay mobile payments service to launch by mid-year

Simpay, the pan-European mobile payment scheme founded by Orange, Telefónica Móviles, T-Mobile and Vodafone, is set to launch in Spain by mid-year and in the UK and Belgium in the fourth quarter.

Simpay was formed in 2003 to create an open and interoperable framework for mobile payments in Europe.

The initial launch of the service in Spain, Belgium and the UK will enable 70 million mobile consumers across Europe to pay for goods and services over their mobile phones, creating over EUR1 billion of extra industry revenue by 2007.

Consumers will be able to pay for digital content - such as ringtones, MP3 downloads, wallpapers and video clips - by clicking on a 'buy with Simpay' button on a mobile Internet site. The cost of the transaction will be added to the consumer's mobile phone bill or deducted from a pre-pay account. Mobile subscribers will be able to buy content from participating merchants in countries where the payments system is in place.

David Taylor, CEO, Simpay, says: "We're thrilled to be able to put a date to our consumer launch: we are looking forward to offering consumers a fully-tested, secure, easy-to-use method of payment.

"It underlines the work done by Simpay and its member operators, and demonstrates the momentum in the m-payments market. As more operators join and we launch into other countries through 2006, consumers will become as familiar with the Simpay logo as they are with their own operators."

The commercial launch follows the completion of Simpay's internal systems and extensive work from technology and testing partners, Encorus, Tata infotech and Integri over the last 24 months.

Simpay says other European countries are expected to launch during the course of 2006.

Spain's Amena, which provides wireless services to more than nine million subscribers, has also signed up to the scheme, along with Belgium's Proximus which has more than four million subscribers. Simpay now has members in 20 European countries and says it has the potential to reach more than 300 million mobile subscribers.

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