Mobile Internet service provider T-Motion is to use technology supplied by Germany's Brokat to provide WAP-based payments services to European and Australian consumers.
Based on Brokat's e-Services Platform Twister, the new Mobile Payment Suite will enable T-Motion's customers to purchase and pay for products and services via their mobile phones. The London-based Deutsche Telekom subsidiary will initially offer the service to its customers in Germany. The company says it will extend its mobile payment operations to the UK and Australia in the near future.
Billing and clearing processes under the proposed scheme may be performed either by credit card or by direct debit to the customer's banking account. The two companies say future enhancements will enable the use of mobile phones to make small value micropayments at the point of sale. In this process, T-Motion will be responsible for clearing all payments for both the customer and merchant.
According to estimates of Dataquest/EMC, the market for mobile services is increasing rapidly. Approximately 1.2 billion mobile phones will be used worldwide in 2003, says Dataquest, with mobile transactions valuing approximately $21 billion by 2004. Analysts at Forit predict that the mobile phone will soon become an indispensable item of the consumer's everyday life - much like house keys - and will take users beyond normal voice telephony phone calls. Moreover, the forecast also states that Internet-capable mobile phones will be standard within a few years.