The Mobey Forum, a banking industry-backed m-commerce group, is to use Java-based software from Meridea Financial Software as the basis for a new generation of mobile transaction services.
The Meridea software works with the latest generation of dual-chip handsets and enables consumers to perform a range of financial transactions including paying bills and buying stocks and shares via a permanent PIN code linked to a user's bank account.
The Forum, a three-year old collective of big-ticket European banks and handset manufacturers, intends to demonstrate working applications of the technology at a financial services event in Barcelona at the end of this month.
Banks backing the initiative believe the technology could be ready to offer fully-fledged commercial services by the end of the year.
To get started, customers download a Java MIDlet to their mobile handset to generate a digital signature. The software creates a PKI (Public Key Infrastructure) based key pair, consisting of a public key stored on the bank’s server and a secret private key which is permanently stored on the customer’s handset. The customer uses the private key with a self-created PIN number that enables the PKI technology to authenticate the user and authorise any banking or payment transactions.
Bo Harald, head of e-commerce at Nordea and chairman of the Mobey Forum, says: "This solution capitalises on recent developments in handset technology to provide a software-based solution with no additional hardware requirement for the user, and therefore presents no delay to market."
It is envisaged that Meridea - founded by Accenture, Nokia, Sampo and 3i in 2001 - will charge banks an annual license fee for the software based on numbers of users.
The mobile banking solution is designed around financial industry requirements set out by the Mobey Forum and explained in the following white paper: Mobey Forum White Paper on Mobile Financial Services