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Week 27, 2009

Many organizations exist in our industry to set up commercial partnerships, develop standards, push the advancement of technology, etc…. Of course, we, as an industry, are represented by Eurosmart. But relationships with our markets are often dependant on decisions made by EMVCo, ETSI, GSMA, the Mobile Payment Forum, NFC Forum or the Open Mobile Alliance, just to name a few of them involved in contactless mobile pavement infrastructure.

Sometimes, these bodies announce joint developments: for instance EMVCo announced a joint development with GlobalPlatform, to standardize the Application Activation User Interface (AAUI), which allows the user to activate a particular contactless mobile payment application on a handset.

EMVCo is also about to announce its collaboration with the NFC Forum, to define a Contactless Mobile Payment Type Approval framework that will apply to mobile devices incorporating NFC technology. The objective of such collaboration is to ensure that contactless payment services, delivered through mobile devices, will interact seamlessly with the existing payment terminals and card acceptance infrastructure.

These partnership agreements demonstrate there is still some ground to cover to ensure a total interoperability between the various subsets of a NFC ecosystem. But the industry does not wait for the next standard to be delivered by standardization bodies. Business has to go forward, and as everyone, starting with end-users, is enthusiastic about this new technology, all participants in the mobile transaction value chain are pushing to deliver solutions to the markets.

While standardization bodies or industry associations are working on future specifications, the strategy and marketing arms of major players are already setting operational partnerships. For instance, Western Union is structuring its partner network to provide Mobile Money Transfer services, but at the same time announces an operational money transfer application with Zain. Visa is setting up a global partnership with Neustar, but at the same time launches an operation mobile payment application in Peru.

Thierry Spanjaard

Chief Editor

Smart Insights