Leading card associations have joined together to create the Mobile Payments Forum, a cross-industry initiative encompassing telecomms, banking and retail markets with the aim of developing an agreed framework for standardised, secure mobile payments.
The Forum has been created by American Express, JCB, MasterCard and Visa and will address issues relating to the use of payment cards in mobile phones. The group say they will focus on the development of interoperability, passwords, cardholder authentication and encryption methods.
Mary Ann O'Loughlin, president, Ovum North America, expects the initiative to be well-received. "Ovum believes that the m-commerce market will never gain traction unless there is a widely available, credible payment infrastructure in place," she says. "We think this is what the wireless and financial industries, retailers and consumers will want - mobile payment that is as simple and secure as a face-to-face transaction."
The Forum founders say they will seek to achieve broad cross-industry cooperation and will recruit as members, financial institutions, telecommunications operators, wireless-device manufacturers, merchants, content providers, and software and hardware developers and vendors. The group says it will complement the work of other industry consortia, such as MeT, the Mobey Forum, and the WAP Forum's E-commerce Expert Group.
The group's work will be carried out by an appointed Technical Committee, which will be the primary member forum for discussion and development of requirement documents, white papers, use cases, and technical specifications for m-commerce payments. Specific first-year deliverables will focus on cardholder authentication, general device security, transport security and consumer convenience and usability. The Committee will also drive collaborative work with other industry consortia and standards bodies.
Membership of the Forum will be tiered, allowing interested parties to join as either Principal or Associate members. Any organisation with an interest in facilitating secure m-commerce using card-based payments is eligible to join.