Visa International has introduced a new specification for safeguarding Internet payments conducted over mobile phones.
Developed in conjunction with some 15 major industry players, including Ericsson, Motorola and Oracle Mobile, the specification is part of Visa Authenticated Payment, an e-commerce programme designed to ensure safe and secure online payment transactions.
The Mobile 3-D Secure specification extends payment authentication initiatives into mobile commerce, enabling Visa card issuers to validate the identity of their cardholders in real time. It ensures that payment data sent over open networks is not compromised and allows consumers to actively protect their Visa accounts from unauthorised use when shopping online over mobile devices.
"While the vast majority of Internet transactions still take place via PCs, it is essential that a secure standard be in place for transactions that originate from mobile phones or other mobile devices," says Philip Yen, executive vice president, e-Visa International. "Consumers need to feel the same sense of security when they shop online using a mobile phone as when they shop in the physical world," he says.
The specification supports global interoperability, thereby minimising the impact on merchants and requiring no changes to back-end payment systems.
According to analyst and consulting company Ovum Limited, 373 million wireless subscribers around the world will be buying online in 2004.
A number of Visa m-commerce programmes are currently underway worldwide to test the viability of m-commerce payment solutions and raise consumer awareness. In Asia, Visa has partnered with Hutchison Telecommunications and Dao Heng Bank to develop a mobile payment service using Mobile 3-D Secure. In Europe, Visa has entered an alliance with Omnitel Vodafone while, in the US, Visa and Sprint are working together to help facilitate secure mobile payments and create opportunities to purchase goods and services over the Sprint PCS nationwide wireless network.
Barclaycard's IT director, Jennifer Allerton, says: "There is strong demand from consumers and merchants in Europe for mobile card payments. At Barclaycard, we have successfully trialled 3D-Secure on the Internet, and working with Visa and Arcot, we demonstrated 3D-Secure working over WAP in June. This announcement is a significant step forward in the development of m-commerce."