European Payments Council teams with telcos on mobile payment initiative

European Payments Council teams with telcos on mobile payment initiative

The European Payments Council (EPC) says it will work with GSMA - an international trade group of mobile operators - to accelerate the deployment of mobile payment services in the single euro payments area (Sepa).

The EPC - which represents 8000 banks - says the cross-industry cooperation will enable banks to deliver better mobile payments services to customers, supported by the existing mobile infrastructure.

The partners say new mobile services will be facilitated by a so-called 'trusted service manager', an entity that would provide a single point of contact for mobile service providers and which would also manage the distribution, configuration and activation of mobile services on NFC-enabled handsets.

The GSMA says it will initially team with the EPC to define "a contractual framework document detailing the minimum set of requirements for a trusted service manager to interface with banks and mobile operators".

Commenting on the alliance, EPC chairman, Gerard Hartsink, says: "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."

The GSMA said last year that 12 telcos around the world will trial NFC-based contactless mobile payment technology as a precursor to the launch of commercial services. The pilots are part of the GSMA's Pay-Buy-Mobile initiative, which aims to develop a global interoperable mobile payments system.

In today's statement, the GSMA says seven mobile operators - AT&T, FarEasTone, KTF, Orange, SFR, Softbank and Turkcell - are currently piloting the mobile technology and a further seven plan to begin trials in the near future.

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