US e-payments firm First Data is teaming with Germany's NCS to offer mobile payment processing services to its merchant and banking customers worldwide.
First Data says the joint service offering will be based on NCS's Crandy mobile payment system which enables consumers to use their mobile hand sets to make mobile and Internet transactions, including person-to-person transfers. The system is currently used by 360,000 consumers in four European countries.
To activate the service consumers call a number from their mobile phone. Their phone number then becomes the payment account identifier. Once the account is activated, consumers can pay for purchases via SMS text message or an interactive voice response (IVR) system.
First Data says banks and other firms signing up to the system can offer m-payments to merchants and consumers via a white label package.
Commenting on the agreement, Rolf Krause, founder and CEO of NCS, says: "The First Data International partnership represents a key milestone for NCS. Together we offer the right mix of capabilities to extend mobile payment solutions services to merchants and banks worldwide."
NCS received an electronic money licence from Germany's Federal Institute for Financial Services Supervision (BaFin) in 2004 allowing it to operate as a mobile payments bank for payments and fund transfer services executed over wireless handsets.