Friday, July 16, 2010

European Payment Council (EPC) endorses mobile payments

The European Payments Council recently published a White Paper for Mobile Payments (1st Edition).l If you are serious about mobile payments, it is an essential read. You can download a copy from Finextra site (See here). (Document EPC492-09, Version 2.0). The European Payment Council (EPC) is the final word on payments in Europe and basically serve the banking industry. It is therefor of particular importance that this White Paper was produced and the content should be take serious.

The document touches on the need for mobile payments and benefits and also describe a number of use cases. Of interest is the fact that both proximity and remote payments are described. These two types of payments will have to co-exist and it is important that both should point to the same account details. Some ramifications of this is discussed, but the proposed way forward is sound and is based on best practice.

What I found particularly sobering (and positive) is the description of the secure element(described as "a formally-certified, tamper-resistant, stand-alone Integrated Circuit, i.e. a “chip” to store the customer’s personal data, the issuer's payment credentials (security keys) and other critical data") . It seems as if there is an acceptance that this should reside on the UICC (also known as the SIM). While it is problematic that the SIM is owned by the Mobile Operator, the paper acknowledge that this can be resolved through collaboration, contracting and the definition of standards. (Also read: European Payments Council – GSM Association
EPC 220-09 Mobile Contactless Payments Service Management Roles).

It looks as if more and more players (and more influential players) are recognising that the SIM card will play the central role in mobile payments.

No comments: