The mobile device is considered an ideal launch pad for Single Euro Payments Area () payment instruments. The European Payments Council (), working together with all stakeholders active in the mobile payments ecosystem, is willing to contribute to the development of the necessary standards and business rules with regard to the initiation and receipt of payments by mobile.
At the core of the 's activity to facilitate the implementation and interoperability of user-friendly mobile payment solutions within , is the development and release of documentation which shares knowledge and encourages best practice within the industry. This has included the 'Mobile Contactless Payments Service Management Roles - Requirements and Specifications', jointly published with GSMA1, as well as the 's more recently launched 'Mobile Contactless Card Payments Interoperability Implementation Guidelines'. These guidelines promote open standards, describe key stakeholder roles, position the 's responsibilities in relation to other industry bodies and recommend adequate security levels for the mobile payment value chain.
The released the first 'White Paper on Mobile Payments' in July 2010. The document explored the collaboration of diverse stakeholders within the ecosystem to achieve a scalable mobile payments framework, written in non-technical language. To align the document with recent industry market developments, the will publish the second edition of the white paper in the second week of February 2012 on its website for public consultation and stakeholder review. Comments are invited by 23 March 2012.
The second edition of this white paper aims to contribute to the business rationale for entering the mobile payments services market. It will endeavour to achieve this by:
- Demonstrating the consumer adoption potential of mobile payments by presenting several realistic and illustrative scenarios for the use of this financial transaction channel. Both mobile contactless and mobile remote payments are covered.
- Providing a high level overview of the infrastructure needed to support both categories of mobile payments.
The document addresses the aspects of mobile payments, which are residing in a cooperative space in the mobile ecosystem.
In response to market discussion, the paper also offers a high level description of 'mobile wallets'.
Finally, the document is also fully aligned with the 'Mobile Contactless Card Payments Interoperability Implementation Guidelines' released by the in 2011.
Remote mobile payments
The first edition of the 's 'White Paper on Mobile Payments' mainly focused on mobile contactless payments - where the mobile device needs to be in close proximity to a point-of-sale terminal. This second edition aims to be more comprehensive, by introducing the benefits of mobile remote payments (MRP) - where two parties are able to send and receive or exchange funds using the mobile channel, irrespective of where they are located. An example of this is person-to-person mobile money transfer or payment to merchant. This financial transaction is conducted over mobile telecommunication networks (using for example the Global System for Mobile communications (GSM) technology) or mobile internet.
The white paper provides a description of the MRP ecosystem, the high level architecture of this payment environment and offers a summary of the most important infrastructure aspects. Having reviewed and discussed the different types of MRPs, the identified mobile remote card and Credit Transfer () payments as key areas of focus. For both of these categories the document provides a more detailed analysis by illustrating the specification of key use-cases and how MRPs would support these services.
Through the specific evaluation of mobile remote card and payments, the contributors identified a number of features that require further analysis. An example of this is the process required to confirm to the beneficiary that a transaction has been undertaken. These gaps will be further detailed and refined within forthcoming interoperability implementation guidelines for mobile remote payments.
The also recognises the key benefits for both the party making the payment and the party receiving the payment. For example, MRP will benefit consumers by offering efficiency through speed of payment initiation, as well as convenience and mobility as it facilitates cashless payments regardless of location or time. For beneficiaries receiving the payment, such as merchants, the MRP infrastructure implies low implementation costs and will enhance their reachability to accept financial transactions and improve cost-efficiencies. Additionally, MRPs offer a unique opportunity to deliver additional marketing services such as cross-selling products or offering discounts and promotions relevant to the payer adding value, brand engagement and loyalty.
The calls on the mobile payment community to review this most recent edition of its 'White Paper on Mobile Payments' and engage in a public consultation of the document. The development of an innovative, sustainable and efficient mobile financial services framework will only be realised by encouraging all stakeholders to share their expertise, insight and experiences.
To effectively collate feedback, the has developed a dedicated questionnaire which will be posted for download on the Website in the second week of February 2012. The document invites input on the overall white paper as well as on each section and recommendations for improvements. The feedback deadline is 23 March 2012.
By Dag-Inge Flatraaker, M-Channel Working Group Chair
Related articles in previous issues:
Beyond the Hype: Making Mobile Payments Work - EPC 'Mobile Contactless SEPA Card Payments Interoperability Implementation Guidelines' and second edition of 'EPC White Paper on Mobile Payments' ( Newsletter, Issue 12, October 2011)
Paper Invoice - Thy Days are Numbered. A further progress report on electronic invoicing ( Newsletter, Issue 12, October 2011)
1GSM Association - the worldwide mobile communications industry body.
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