Nokia, Nordea and Visa have begun pilot trials of a dual-chip, smart card-based system for making payments via mobile phones.
The Electronic Mobile Payment Services (EMPS) project is distributing 150 specially designed mobile phones to customers in the Helsinki metropolitan area. Customers can make purchases through their mobile phones and pay using a Nordea issued plug-in size chip card which resides on a special chip card reader inside the phone. Visa Electron transactions can be done by using this additional chip with a WIM (Wireless Identity Module) application.
The dual chip concept is compatible with the recently announced preferred payment architecture by the financial industry-driven forum, the Mobey Forum.
"Dual chip is ideally suited for consumers who wish to use banking services and pay in a secure and convenient way," says Bo Harald, head of Nordea's electronic banking.
The project is designed to test the viability of the dual chip concept in a real life environment. In the beginning of the pilot phase, the EMPS initiative will involve two Finnish merchants, the Internet-based grocery store Ruoka.net, and the movie theatre Kinopalatsi. Feedback from the trials will be reported to the Mobey Forum and other bodies such as the MET consortium.
In the pilot, the chip card which accommodates the WIM application, is inserted into a WAP-enabled mobile phone, providing the customer with an integrated payment functionality. WAP is used as a transport layer, and the wireless authentication and signature method is based on WAP and WIM specifications.
"This pilot has global signifigance because we can now for the first time receive first hand experience and feedback from both consumers and financial institutions responsible for issuing and administering the payment functionality," says Martti Granberg, director, Nokia Mobile Phones.
He says dual-chip functionality is one of a number of mobile payment options under investigation by Nokia and which will be supported in future product releases.