Ericsson, Motorola and Nokia today announced a joint effort to develop an open and common industry framework for secure mobile electronic transactions. The target of this initiative is to use existing and emerging standards to build a common framework and to create an implementation roadmap in order to enhance the fast adoption of trusted mobile e-business. Representatives from the telecom, financial and the IS/IT industries will be invited to contribute to the effort.
The possibility to handle trusted electronic transactions from a personal mobile device is regarded as one of the most important areas of the Mobile Internet. The mobile device can be a tool for a variety of services, such as banking and trading services, credit card and payment services, loyalty/bonus services and ID-card services. The Ericsson Motorola and Nokia initiative defines an open platform for secure mobile phone transactions. The aim is to offer solutions where security and payment services will be integrated as a standard into hundreds of millions of mobile devices in years to come.
There are today several activities ongoing in order to facilitate secure transactions from mobile devices. The initiative from Ericsson, Motorola and Nokia will merge existing initiatives with the de facto standard for secure mobile electronic transactions, including not only the technical capabilities but also the context for how this concept shall be used and executed. Some of the key technology cornerstones will be WAP security functions, such as WTLS (Wireless Transport Layer Security) and WIM (Wireless Identification Module) - as well as wireless Public Key technologies (PKI) and already implemented mobile payment schemes.
"For a user, a mobile phone is a highly personal device that today is expected to be easily and securely tailored according to an individual need. These expectations cover also the fast emerging mobile e-business sector. A mobile device will be the platform to bridge the virtual and physical worlds of e-business. Integrating security and transaction applications on a common core standard and platform will create global mass market for mobile e-business. This will benefit all participants from various industries within the value chain, in addition to hundreds of millions of consumers throughout the world," says Matti Alahuhta, President, Nokia Mobile Phones.
"The ambition is to formulate an environment which allows mobile operators, financial institutions and other service providers to facilitate secure mobile transactions," says Jan Ahrenbring, Vice President Marketing and Communications at Ericsson Mobile Communications. "Ericsson estimates that by 2004 there will be around one billion users of mobile telephony and some 600 million mobile Internet subscribers worldwide. The most important thing that is needed to get all these consumers to start using mobile e-commerce is a standard, which makes it safe and easy to use," says Ahrenbring.
"Motorola is committed to the development of the mobile Internet and making it secure, not only via the Web-enabled phones that make access possible, but also the technologies that enable this world without wires, said Rick Darnaby, Senior Vice President & General Manager of Europe, Middle East & Africa for Motorola's Personal Communications. "Trust is the key element for mobile interaction and transaction. We envision mobile devices will soon play a key role in virtually every aspect of our lives. We want to give consumers the ability of stay securely connected, informed and to conduct sensitive and financial transactions anytime and wherever they are."
Creating a standard for secure mobile transactions also opens up the possibility for small transactions to be handled via mobile devices, for example ticketing applications. Mobile devices will also be used to handle short distance payments and transactions enabled by the Bluetooth technology, for example to point of sale machines and parking meters. The initiative includes methods for service providers to expose their brand in mobile devices.
Nokia, Ericsson and Motorola are expected to issue technical and other details about the context for secure mobile transactions by the end of May on their web sites and invite others to participate in the work. The ambition is to formulate an open framework before the summer, based upon input from related industries.
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