Standards are the key to m-payments, says Perera

27 Mar 2003

Standards – both technical and business-to-business – are the key to the growth of the mobile payments market. This is what Raomal Perera, CEO of software firm Network365, told the Mobile Payments Forum conference in Dublin yesterday.

“The large attendance today is a clear indication of the fact that, despite the difficult times, people see both the value of developing standards for mobile payments and future potential for the market,” he told the conference, which was attended by 100 delegates from leading financial institutions, hardware and software vendors, content providers, network operators and wireless device manufacturers.

Speaking later to, Perera said standards were still a major issue for the mobile payments market, which is still in its infancy. “I would compare it to the early email market where there were a number of competing standards before a single standard, SMTP Mime, was agreed which allowed all email systems to talk to each other.”

He added that, in addition to technology standards, there are also business issues that need to be resolved. “Revenue sharing deals need to be agreed between service providers, such as network operators and banks, on the one hand and content providers on the other. This is one of the things needed to drive the mobile payments market.”

Last week, Network365 announced that it had enabled the world’s first Verified by Visa implementation over a mobile channel through Hong Kong-based mobile operator CSL. Using Network365’s Mzone avatar secure mobile wallet product, CSL will enable mobile payment transactions by authenticating a Visa cardholder’s identity at the time of purchase.

Describing the event as “very significant”, Perera said it means that m-payment transactions now go from a ‘cardholder not present’ to a ‘cardholder present’ status, thus shifting the legal liability for fraud away from merchants to banks and providing an incentive for merchants to engage in more m-business transactions.

By Brian Skelly

Pictured: at the worldwide Mobile Payment Forum hosted by Network365, which concludes in Dublin today were, from left: Raomal Perera, CEO, Network365, Tanaiste Mary Harney TD and Ed Kountz, senior analyst, Emerging Technology Solutions, Tower Group