The Green Sheet: Luottokunta, BookIt and Microsoft develop SMS-based payment solution

Helsinki, Finland, Dec. 21, 2010

Luottokunta, BookIt Oy and Microsoft have worked together to develop the world’s first authentication service, which allows for mobile payments from any mobile phone and via any operator, using so-called iSMS®. Luottokunta eMobile is a digital service based on a new authentication method, which gives consumers an easy way to purchase services, and vendors a flexible way of making additional sales.
The advantage of iSMS® is that the use of the service does not require additional accessories or applications for the phone. Earlier systems have been based on authenticating the mobile phone and its user. For this purpose, a separate certificate was needed on the phone’s SIM card. In iSMS®, the system is entirely within the network, and no separate certificates or mobile wallets are necessary. The payment method can be any card registered for the service by the consumer. Authentication is done as a cloud service, where an unforgeable “fingerprint” is created for each transaction.
“The iSMS® is already used by 3.7 million Finns in the form of various services. One of the most popular is undoubtedly Finnair’s flight check-in service. The new development is that the iSMS® can be used to pay for various services. Business travellers do not have time to queue up for additional services, and Finnair believes that its services will grow in popularity when they can be ordered and paid for conveniently on the phone,” explains BookIt CEO Jukka Salonen.

For the end user, the service manifests itself as an ordinary text message, sent by the service provider to the customer. To identify themselves and make a payment, the customers respond to the message, for example by typing a specific letter.

“It is not an ordinary text message, which is easy to forge; authentication is highly secure here. The payment transaction is always within the Luottokunta system, which makes Luottokunta responsible for data protection. eMobile is a completely unique service, not only very easy to use but also extremely secure. Mobile payments using VISA and MasterCard have never been this easy,” says Luottokunta CEO Heikki Kapanen.
Thanks to their ease of use and speed, mobile payments are suitable for repeated and routine payments, such as travel or cinema tickets, subscriptions, car parking charges, and vending machine and online purchases. For example, Finnair customers will be able to pay for onboard purchases or airport services by SMS. Finnair is not the only public transport company in Finland to be interested in the possibilities of mobile payments. In addition, negotiations are ongoing with businesses in the entertainment and e-commerce sectors.
Luottokunta’s eMobile service is free for the consumer, and it can be used with any European credit or debit card in addition to the Finnish payment cards. Charges for the service are covered by the companies that use it.

About Luottokunta:

Luottokunta is Finland’s leading card payment service company that develops and provides efficient card payment solutions for banking as well as merchant and corporate customers. In 2010, total sales generated by cards under Luottokunta’s VISA and MasterCard schemes totalled EUR 27.6 billion. Luottokunta employs a staff of 500.
Source: Company press release.

http://www.greensheet.com/newswire.php?newswire_id=20630

Tuesday, Dec 21, 2010