C-Sam introduces handheld digital wallets

C-Sam introduces handheld digital wallets

Chicago-based C-Sam has launched OneWallet, a new payment solution for physical and virtual transactions conducted via mobile phones.

The C-Sam wallet holds digital versions of consumer payment cards and is available for the Ericsson R380 handset. When making a payment the user selects the payment card icon in OneWallet and presses the "BUY" button. For a secure transaction the user is asked to enter his/her PIN and the payment information is "beamed" to the point-of-sale device of a real world merchant using the Infrared Financial Messaging (IrFM) standard.

Sam Pitroda, C-SAM's founder and CEO, explains: "It turns the R380 into a real wallet. I have all my cards and receipts securely stored in the phone and can use them like in my leather wallet. Moreover, the cards can be issued over the air and their logos are displayed on the phone screen making it intuitive for the consumer and providing valuable brand equity to the card issuers.”

IrFM has been initiated as an IrDA special interest group to develop specifications for the transmission of payment instructions using infrared. Members include Visa, Ericsson, Nokia, Motorola, Palm and Extended Systems.

The announcement is timed to coincide with the 3GSM World Congress being held in Cannes, France this week. The Congress also played host to a recent announcement by a consortium of Scandinavian technology companies that they are preparing to conduct live trials of an alternative service for beaming payments between mobile phones and retailer cash registers.

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