Emerging Payments Technology Leader Plans Global Mobile Commerce Initiatives

MasterCard International today announced the formation of a new Global Mobile Commerce Team led by Chris Jarman, vice president, Electronic Commerce and Emerging Technologies. This is a part of MasterCard's ongoing effort to provide the best payment solutions for its members and consumers worldwide.

This global initiative focuses on the convergence of the card payments and mobile telephony industries. MasterCard is already working with member financial institutions, handset manufacturers, and network operators to facilitate online payments capability through mobile devices, making them secure, consistent, and globally interoperable.

Industry analysts predict that mobile commerce is poised for exponential growth over the next few years. According to industry experts, the number of wireless data users globally will increase from approximately 300 million to 1 billion by 2003. The Global Mobile Commerce Forum (GMCF), a diverse group of international companies working together to enable consumers to use mobile phones to conduct business from anywhere at any time, estimates that by 2001, 50 million of these users will own a commerce-capable wireless phone.

MasterCard's announcement of its Global Mobile Commerce Team is in keeping with the company's history of leadership in emerging payment technologies. According to Art Kranzley, senior vice president, Electronic Commerce and Emerging Technologies, "Today's announcement occurs at the dawn of widespread adoption of mobile commerce. The convergence of the wireless and e-commerce industries represents significant opportunity for our member financial institutions."

Supporting MasterCard's role in the imminent growth of mobile commerce are significant advances in technology and handset hardware. MasterCard is working to secure partnerships with the world's key network operators and middleware providers.

"We are excited about MasterCard's initiatives in this area," said Joachim Hoffmann, director, Mobile Commerce Business, Motorola Personal Network Group. "Motorola is leading the way in enabling mobile phones to be used in mobile commerce, and this announcement further reiterates the industry commitment to bring these capabilities to consumers."

Consumers with phones that have wireless Internet access can make online purchases, send and receive e-mails, and buy e-tickets, from any location at any time. MasterCard is committed to helping the Wireless Application Protocol (WAP) Forum, of which it is a member, to define universal security and global interoperability standards.

Merchants, financial institutions and network operators also stand to gain from mobile commerce advances. Merchants will increase their potential customer bases, with physical location no longer limiting access to potential shoppers, and new mobile commerce-ready phones functioning like sales terminals. Financial institutions also stand to gain from increased transactions which translate into greater profits. Mobile telephony network operators will be able to offer value-added services, attract more customers, and expand revenue streams.

MasterCard International's Mobile Commerce Team includes key representatives from MasterCard, Maestro International, Europay International, Mondex International, and MAOSCO. The group has established three distinct forums to involve key industry players in the mobile commerce initiative: a Member Forum, composed of MasterCard's key international members; an Industry Forum, composed of key wireless technology organizations; and a Network Operators Forum.

MasterCard is also an active participant in the WAP Forum and the Global Mobile Commerce Forum, two groups leading the way in establishing international standards for making mobile commerce simple, secure, and global. In addition, MAOSCO and Europay International are members of the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI), a non-profit organization whose mission is to develop and promote the telecommunications standards that will be used for decades to come.

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