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EPC and GSMA introduce consultation on SEPA mobile payments

The European Payments Council (EPC), the decision-making and coordination body of the European banking industry in relation to payments, and GSMA, representing the interests of the worldwide mobile communications industry, have released the paper “TSM Service Management Requirements and Specifications” in the Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA) for public consultation.

This document describes the different roles and processes involved in the provision and lifecycle management of banks’ mobile contactless payment (MCP) applications integrated into a mobile phone.

The consultation open to all interested market participants marks an important breakthrough in cross-industry cooperation between payment services providers and mobile network operators aimed at empowering over 500 million European consumers to make SEPA payments using their mobile phone. This cooperation is the most ambitious project designed to date to build a common architecture for mobile contactless payments.

Dag-Inge Flatraaker, Chair of the EPC M-Channel Group, comments: “The requirements developed by EPC and GSMA will have a major impact enabling the mobile as a channel for payments in SEPA. This initiative paves the way for more efficient commercial launches of mobile contactless payments and contributes to interoperability and freedom of choice for the different stakeholders.”

“This is a significant move as it is the first time that mobile operators and banks have worked together at the international level on a common vision for contactless payments,” says Alex Sinclair, Chief Technology Officer and Chief Strategy Officer, GSMA.

In June 2008, the EPC and GSMA joined forces to support the further development of mobile payment services leveraging both the existing SEPA infrastructure and the infrastructure set up by mobile network operators. The EPC and GSMA are focused on defining requirements and specifications regarding the roles of Trusted Service Managers to interface with banks and mobile operators. TSMs will facilitate the distribution, configuration and activation of the bank’s payment application on the Universal Integrated Circuit Card (UICC, also known as a SIM card) within bank customers’ Near Field Communications1 (NFC) handsets (their mobile phone). This technology allows, for example, payment using a mobile phone at a card payment terminal provided by a retailer or when purchasing from a vending machine.

The definition and specification of the requirements and business models for TSM services closes an existing gap in the new NFC ecosystem. The consultation now launched by the EPC and GSMA will eventually lead to shared solutions supporting the establishment of commercial relationships between banks, mobile network operators and Trusted Service Managers thus promoting mobile contactless payments across SEPA. In addition, the agreement on TSM specifications allows interested parties to develop services in the role of a TSM.

(1) contactless technology that enables data to be transmitted wirelessly over very short distances

About the European Payments Council
The European Payments Council (EPC) is the decision-making and coordination body of the European banking industry in relation to payments. The EPC defines common positions for core payments services, provides strategic guidance for standardisation, formulates best practices and supports and monitors implementation of decisions taken. The EPC consists of 76 members comprising banks and banking communities. More than 300 professionals from 32 countries are directly engaged in the work programme of the EPC, representing all sizes and sectors of the banking industry within Europe.
The EPC develops the payment schemes and frameworks necessary to realise the Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA). SEPA is an EU integration initiative in the area of payments designed to achieve the completion of the EU internal market and monetary union. SEPA is the area where citizens, companies and other economic participants can make and receive payments in euro, within Europe, whether within or across national boundaries under the same basic conditions, rights and obligations, regardless of their location. SEPA is currently defined as consisting of the EU 27 member states plus Iceland, Norway, Liechtenstein, Switzerland and Monaco.

About the GSMA
The GSMA represents the interests of the worldwide mobile communications industry. Spanning 219 countries, the GSMA unites nearly 800 of the world's mobile operators, as well as more than 200 companies in the broader mobile ecosystem, including handset makers, software companies, equipment providers, Internet companies, and media and entertainment organisations. The GSMA is focused on innovating, incubating and creating new opportunities for its membership, all with the end goal of driving the growth of the mobile communications industry.

Lundi 1 Février 2010

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