Sonera signs 31 Helsinki retailers for mobile payment trials

Sonera signs 31 Helsinki retailers for mobile payment trials

Sonera is piloting its Shopper wireless payment service across 31 retail outlets in Helsinki to enable consumers to pay for goods and services via their mobile phone.

The mobile payment system requires consumers and merchants to be registered on a Sonera-hosted payment server. When a consumer visits a retail store or restaurant, he keys in the subscription number and personal security code to his mobile phone to obtain a confirmation code which is then used for payment. Once the consumer has finished his meal or chosen which goods to buy, he then shows the cashier the confirmation code and payment is debited from either the Shopper account or billed to his credit card account.

Customers can transfer money from their bank accounts to their Shopper accounts in advance. Card payments are accepted for Visa and Eurocard issued by Finnish bank Luottokunta.

Currently 31 shops accept Shopper payments. During the Spring, the Tiimari retail chain will begin offering Shopper as a method of payment in the metropolitan area, and Pizza Hut and Videofirma Makuuni plan to extend the use of Shopper to all their business locations throughout Finland.

The pilot will run until 31 August 2002, during which time customers will not have to pay a connection fee or monthly charge.

Anni Vepsäläinen, senior vice president, Sonera, says: "We want to test mobile payment extensively, in cooperation with dealers and consumers, in order to get the best possible starting-point for the actual commercial launch of the service."

According to research conducted by TowerGroup, 118 million Europeans, 145 million Asians and 22 million Americans intend to use their mobile phone for paying for small purchases over the next few years.

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