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Foreign Exchange

Review of developments in payment systems 2010: Mobile phones/Cellphones

Mobile operators and banks have long dreamed of providing payment and collection services on mobile phones. But there are huge problems in making applications generally available across regions and globally, including a vast range of different phone handsets with varying screen sizes, button layouts, settings, how to ensure secure end-to-end communications and standardize customer registration, and how to connect and integrate the many different phone operators, banks and other companies.

Monitise has recently developed an integrated mobile ecosystem to provide a launch pad for truly multi-country payment services across many different countries and parties with its Mobile Money Manager Platform, as shown in Figure 2.

Figure 2 - Integrated mobile ecosystem

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Source: Monitise

A great deal of the investment in expanding initiation and authorization services is now focusing on incorporating mobile phones into payment services. Standard Chartered Bank’s Straight2Bank mobile authorization service is an example of how mobile phone messages have been incorporated into its corporate payment services. A payment instruction prepared by the corporate treasury department is sent to the bank, which if the payment is above an agreed amount, requests authorization by an SMS text alert message.

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