Common Architecture for Mobile Payments

Common Architecture for Mobile Payments

EPC and GSMA publish joint paper on mobile contactless payments service management

26 September 11

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Creating practical solutions for mobile payments

Given the proliferation of mobile phones and related service levels throughout the European Union ( ), the recognises that the mobile channel is an ideal launch pad for payment instruments. Many consumers are already using mobile phones for services beyond the traditional voice calls and short messaging services due to the introduction of packaged offers, including internet access provided by the mobile network operators. As a result, consumer expectations with regard to mobile phone functionality have increased dramatically, with many users eager to embrace new service solutions based on this delivery platform, such as payments. The availability of practical mobile payments, either account or card-based, would provide a realistic alternative to cash and cheques. At the same time, merchants demand that new technology translates into cost savings, increased business volume and reduced exposure to security threats such as cash thefts or illicit payments, as well as enhanced marketing opportunities and brand recognition. Mobile phone initiated payments, in particular those using the contactless approach, are very well positioned to generate these benefits for merchants and other stakeholders who are directly providing services to consumers.

The , working together with other stakeholders such as, for example, GSMA, the organisation representing the interests of the worldwide mobile communications industry, is in the process of establishing the necessary standards and business rules with regard to the initiation and receipt of payments by mobile. The aim is to develop proposals that support collaboration and standardisation and which form the basis for interoperability. The objective  is to establish a service framework sufficient to reach potentially all payers and payees in the European Economic Area and to create a trusted and secure environment for the multiple stakeholders active in the field. The joint initiative of the and GSMA is an important step in this direction.

Supporting the lifecycle management of mobile contactless payment applications

The publication of the and GSMA's "Mobile Contactless Payments Service Management Roles - Requirements and Specifications" paper closes an existing gap in the new Near Field Communication (NFC) ecosystem1. Its release follows a public consultation period, during which market feedback was received and carefully considered.

The paper offers a brief introduction on mobile contactless payments (MCPs) and describes different service models supporting the provision and lifecycle management - including distribution, configuration, activation, maintenance and deletion - of banks' mobile contactless payment applications when integrated with a mobile phone. These services can be provided by mobile network operators, issuing banks or so-called "Trusted Service Managers" (TSMs). The paper defines a minimum set of requirements for a TSM to interface with banks and mobile operators. In addition, the paper analyses the functional, technical and legal aspects including security requirements relevant to these services, if performed by issuing banks or mobile network operators.

Boosting commercial relationships between banks, mobile network operators and Trusted Service Managers

The and GSMA anticipate that this joint project will boost commercial relationships between issuing banks, the mobile network operators and TSMs, resulting in the expedited deployment of mobile contactless payments in the Single Euro Payments Area ( ) and around the world. In addition, the agreement on TSM specifications allows interested parties to develop services in the role of a TSM.

Building a common architecture for mobile contactless payments is a key objective of the 's initiatives for mobile payments in . The implementation of interoperable and user-friendly mobile payment solutions makes it even easier for bank customers across 32 countries to access state-of-the-art payment services.

Dag-Inge Flatraaker is the Chair of the M-Channel Working Group.

Related links:

Joint EPC and GSMA paper "Mobile Contactless Payments Service Management Roles - Requirements and Specifications"

EPC White Paper on Mobile Payments


1 Near Field Communication (NFC): contactless technology that enables data to be transmitted wirelessly over very short distances.

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