Valista to deploy e-cash solution for Vodafone UK

8 Jun 2004

Irish web and mobile payment technology firm Valista has been chosen by Vodafone in the UK and Japan to roll out its future online payment system that will allow Vodafone’s customers to make micro-payments over their mobile phone as part of the Simpay alliance, as well as pay bills and perform remote top-up for prepaid customers.

Simpay is an alliance of technology providers and mobile network operators who expect to provide micro payment services through wallets stored on mobile users’ SIM cards as an alternative to cash, as well as enabling users to buy higher price items such as flights and cinema tickets but by billing them to credit or debit cards.

Vodafone, Orange, Telefonica and T-mobile, with some 140m subscribers between them, expect to deploy the first range of services as part of Simpay by the first quarter of next year.

It is understood that Valista won the contract as part of a partnership with big five consultant Cap Gemini.

John Hurley, vice president of marketing at Valista told “These are high ARPU (average revenue per user) players and we are working with them to build in the operability to enable them to allow customers to use electronic cash or value stored on their SIMs to pay for the lottery, buy music, ringtones or games as well as move the mobile into the physical purchasing space.

“Another massive trend is a demand for remote prepaid top-up services. A parent can top up their child’s phone credit by text message or an employer can top up the credit of their field sales force’s mobile phones,” Hurley said, pointing to the increased number of business that are equipping their field workers with prepaid phones.

Valista’s flagship technology, Payment Plus, and ancillary service platforms like TopupPLus and its service deliver platform, are being used by players like NTT DoCoMo to enable its i-mode users to enjoy mobile shopping. Vodafone in the UK has selected the technology to allow users to pay bills remotely, make purchases over WAP and the internet as well as top up prepaid phones remotely.

Bray-based Valista was established last year following the merger of local firm Network365 and US payment provider iPIN. The company, which employs 85 people worldwide, boasts over 150m people in Europe, Asia and the Americas using its technology to electronically buy products and services from over 1,000 merchants.

The company, which made Red Herring’s list of Top 100 global companies for 2004, includes major mobile providers Vodafone, NTT DoCoMo, 3, France Telecom and Hong Kong CSL as its customers and has forged strong technology partnerships with IBM, HP, Ericsson, Cap Gemini and Gemplus.

By John Kennedy