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9 May 2011
The initiative, announced today in a joint press release with the 6 mobile operators, introduces a new method of online payment through mobile devices.
Reply [REY IM], a leader in design and development of solutions based on new digital media, has been chosen by 3 Italia, Fastweb, Poste Mobile, Tim, Vodafone Italia and Wind as its technology partner for the development the platform for mobile payments using credit left on the SIM (mPayment), announced today.
The main feature of the platform is to be universal, standard and independent of the content purchased from the supplier and the operator of membership. A real innovation, that provides a box integration between the suppliers of digital content and mobile operators who want to enable their users to access offers via mPayment.
The service, announced today simultaneously by all the mobile operators, will bring big benefits to all players involved: customers, mobile operators and content providers.
Customers will experience a new way to buy online, regardless of the specific product, supplier or operator. Mobile operators, with minimal impact on their IT infrastructure, are now able to make all their content available via an innovative, immediate and secure method of payment. Content providers can now expand their market, reaching those clients who are unable or unwilling to use credit cards for digital payments.
“This important initiative,” commented Filippo Rizzante, Executive Partner of Reply, “marks a milestone in the path of Reply positioning as a leading actor in Italy and Europe for mCommerce solutions, a market with enormous potential. Over the next three years, the forecast of purchases of digital goods and services via mobile phone is around 240 million euro, approximately 40% more than today" (source Netconsulting).
The purchasing behavior of consumers, greatly evolved in recent years, the regulatory evolution of SEPA - Single Euro Payments Area - the integration of the directives of the European Commission, together with the Italian note distrust in the use of credit cards for purchses online, are factors accelerating the use of the payment through SIM credit or phone bill.
“In view of the fact that this country has the highest number of SIM cards per person in Europe — around 89 million Sim cards (source: Agcom) and that we have the highest smartphone ownership,” Filippo Rizzante conludes, “it’s understandable that the main Italian mobile operators developed an interest in mPayment and consequently committed to finding an agreement for the use of a cross-operator platform for the payment of digital content and services”.
The platform is delivered through a service model based on Cloud Computing.
The operation of the service is simple and immediate. The system recognises the buyer through the mobile number alone, together with a temporary password sent to the number via a free text message. The customer is not asked to disclose personal details or information regarding any means of electronic payment (e.g. credit card).
When making a purchase, customers will see the cost of the bought goods deducted from their SIM credit or directly from their phone bill. A free text message confirms the transaction and displays all details of the operation. If the purchase procedure cannot be completed, a free text message informs the customer of the reasons why it is not possible, for example, insufficient credit.