Swedbank and Swedish PTT Telia have launched a pilot programme to test the use of digital signature technology to secure on-air banking transactions via mobile phones.
At the beginning of next year, electronic signatures will be regulated by law in Sweden, which means that digital signatures will be binding, legitimising their use in mobile payments.
Swedbank and Telia say they will phase in a series of applications for mobile banking subscribers, including the ability to check purchases and balances on accounts, carry out credit/debit card purchases, and make payments via an Internet bank.
Under the agreement, Swedbank is to take responsibility for the payment and authentication processes, while Telia handles the mobile telephony platform, the special SIM card, and PKI (public key infrastructure) certification. Smart Trust, a local security and service management software company has provided the security system for the pilot operation covering credit/debit card transactions.
This autumn, a number of users began to test the prototype of the system, using ordinary mobiles phones. In spring 2001, the pilot operation will be expanded to cover several thousand users, and will have an increased number of applications. The national launch is expected to take place after the summer of 2001.
After the launch phase, other banks, as well as other mobile operators, will be given the opportunity of signing up to the concept.