BSCH, BBVA, Telefonica Moviles and Airtel announced they had
concluded an agreement to integrate the various projects each had been
developing individually in the field of payments via mobile handsets. The new
project will from the outset be open to all financial institutions, mobile
operators and payment processing companies active in Spain. Amena has also
signed on to the project, and there is an agreement in principal to bring on
various other organisations, including Caja de Madrid, Banco Popular, Banesto,
Banco Sabadell and Xfera. Thus the agreement marks the creation of a Spanish
technological standard, with a clear will for international expansion.
This agreement takes Spain to the forefront in the development of new
business models and co-operation between financial institutions and mobile
operators and strengthens its leadership in the use of new payment system
technologies. Likewise, the project is in line with the objective of the
European Union to strengthen advanced European solutions to lead the
technological development of the information society.
The new standard is based on recognition of the role which mobile
telephony will play in consumers’ daily life, making it an ideal tool for
providing payment platform for their everyday expenses. It will make the
transition to the euro easier and makes it possible to provide an advanced
payment system for mobile businesses (household deliveries, household repairs,
etc.). The new standard will extend the range of businesses which have used
advanced payment methods to date and will open the door to the youngest
segment of the population.
The security offered by the new system will make on-line shopping easier,
give a decisive boost to mobile businesses, and open huge business
opportunities by bringing together the advantages of mobile telephony and
advanced payment systems. It uses the mobile telephone to identify the
account holder who can confirm each transaction via a secret number, different
to that used to activate the telephone.
The parties to the agreement envisage that large credit card companies
such as VISA and Master Card will enter the agreement and the international
The agreement will result in the creation of two companies charged with
establishing the standard in Spain and abroad, respectively. The project will
involve initial investment of close to seven billion pesetas (42.07 million
euros) and envisages the launch of a pilot service in the fourth quarter of
this year and the marketing launch before the end of the year.