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EPC Newsletter Issue 1 - January 2009

Mobile and online payments

SEPA goes mobile
EPC enables SEPA payments across 32 countries via a cell phone

22.01.09 By Dag-Inge Flatraaker


Anticipating changing customer habits and fostering innovation in payments, the EPC is now developing mobile channels for the initiation and receipt of SEPA credit transfers, direct debits and card payments. The usage of the mobile phone empowers customers to make SEPA payments in a convenient, speedy and controlled manner. In close cooperation with other service providers the EPC M-Channel Expert Group is now in the process of defining the basic requirements, rules and standards necessary to execute payments across 31 SEPA countries using a cell phone. The aim of this cross-industry initiative is to create interoperability of associated services delivered by different players in the mobile payments market.

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EPC and mobile network operators join forces

In June 2008, the EPC and GSMA, the global trade association representing the Mobile Network Operator (MNO) community, launched a mutual project to support the further development of mobile banking services leveraging both the existing SEPA infrastructure and the infrastructure set up by mobile network operators. A key feature needed to allow banks and mobile operators to provide payments services via a cell phone is the "Trusted Service Manager" (TSM). More specifically, the TSM facilitates the distribution, configuration and activation of the bank's payment application on the UICC within bank customers' NFC handsets (their mobile phone). UICC stands for the Universal Integrated Circuit Card, also known as a SIM card. NFC refers to Near Field Communications - a contact-less technology that enables data to be transmitted wirelessly over very short distances, for example between a mobile phone and a card payments terminal at the check-out of a retailer. The GSMA, through its Pay-Buy-Mobile initiative, and the EPC incidentally focus on defining requirements and specifications regarding the role of a Trusted Service Manager interfacing with banks and mobile operators.

EPC and GSMA are convinced that this cross-industry cooperation represents the best way forward to efficiently avail the mobile as a means of initiating SEPA payments. The approach chosen by EPC and GSMA might eventually serve as a model regarding the development of mobile payment services in other parts of the world, e.g the goal is to approach standardisation in the area of mobile payments based on a global perspective at an early stage.

Defining the M-Channel Roadmap

Going forward, the EPC will further detail the m-payments strategy with a view to design an M-Channel Roadmap spelling out priorities and milestones. At the same time, EPC seeks to collaborate with key organisations in the mobile payments market including MobeyForum, GlobalPlatform, EMVCo and the NFC Forum. The EPC newsletter will deliver regular updates on the progress of creating mobile channels for SEPA payments.

Dag-Inge Flatraaker is the Chair of the EPC M-Channel Expert Group. If you wish to obtain further information, please contact the EPC Secretariat (e-mail to secretariat@europeanpaymentscouncil.eu).


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