Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Mobile banking celebrates their tenth birthday this year.

It is not clear where mobile banking was invented as one can find a number of candidates. What is clear is that the first deployments all were started during 1999.

We at Fundamo developed our solution during the late 1990's and lodged our first patents early in 2000. Our technology were (even then) based on SIM card security, which was quite forward looking as most phones could not even send and/or receive SMS's. The intention of our invention was to find a way to replace payment systems and some of the first applications that we experimented with, was the use of mobile payments in a retail environment.

This was similar to the guys at paybox, who launched their solutions in Germany during about the same time. The intention was to deploy an alternative payment system for retail purchases. Their solution utilised IVR to capture a PIN (much less secure, but then who needed security in Germany?). The solution evolved to also be used in taxi's and for "card not present" solutions.

I think that Smartmoney (launched during 2000) was specifically designed to augment functionality of pre-paid credit cards. The phone could be used to "top-up" the card and to see the remaining balance. I never had an opportunity to talk to people working on this product in the early days, so this is purely assumptions. Smartmoney was also based on a SIM application.

We will be hosting a dinner for a selection of people that were involved with Fundamo during that time to celebrate the tenth birthday during October. We came a long way and it was an amazing journey, but we have not yet arrived.


Manju Murthy said...


Congrats on 'your' tenth anniversary. I'm sure it has been quite a journey. All the best.


Damai Ria said...

Thanks for this,
can me link exchange to your blog?

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