Microsoft is working with Banverket, the Swedish railway operator on the development of a mobile phone-based payment and ticketing application for rail customers.
Under the initiative, commuters in Sweden will be able to purchase and confirm rail tickets using a GSM phone with a Windows for Smart Cards-powered SIM card. Rail travelers will be able to get directly on the train, dial into a central processing centre and purchase rail passage.
Because the credit card information is encoded on the SIM card, the purchase can be made without waiting in line and without a paper ticket. When the conductor comes by, the traveller displays the confirmation code on the cell phone.
"The mobile payment market is something that’s definitely being enabled by SIM cards," says Philippe Goetschel, director of Microsoft's smart cards divsion. "We believe that Windows-powered smart cards can add a lot of value because it's just a matter of our SIM cards talking to back-end servers like the Microsoft Commerce Server."
The tie-up with Banverket was previewed at the annual Cartes show in Paris. Microsoft also announced deals with BT, Spain's Telefonica Moviles and Schlumberger. The company says it now has more than 120 ISVs worldwide developing applications and services for its smart card operating platform.