Visa announces security standard for m-commerce payments

Specification Created to Extend Authenticated Payments Over the Internet To Mobile Phones

(IMMEDIAPRESS) San Francisco, September 19 - Visa International today announced a new global specification that ensures the security of Internet payments made over mobile phones.

The Mobile 3-D Secure specification is based on existing payment technologies and is a result of Visa's ongoing efforts to ensure that both buyers and sellers are protected when they use or accept a Visa card. It supports Visa's ongoing commitment to realise universal commerce (u-commerce) -- the ability to conduct secure commerce anywhere, anytime with any type of device.

Developed in conjunction with some 15 major industry players, including Ericsson, Motorola and Oracle Mobile, the specification is part of Visa Authenticated Payment, a comprehensive e-commerce program designed to ensure safe and secure online payment transactions. The Mobile 3-D Secure specification extends payment authentication initiatives into mobile commerce, enabling Visa card issuers to validate the identity of their cardholders in real time. It ensures that payment data sent over open networks is not compromised and allows consumers to actively protect their Visa accounts from unauthorised use when shopping on-line over mobile devices.

''While the vast majority of Internet transactions still take place via PCs, it is essential that a secure standard be in place for transactions that originate from mobile phones or other mobile devices,'' said Philip Yen, executive vice president, e-Visa International. ''Consumers need to feel the same sense of security when they shop online using a mobile phone as when they shop in the physical world.''

The Mobile 3-D Secure specification supports global interoperability, enabling consumers to have a consistent and seamless experience regardless of the method or device being used to access the Internet. It minimises the impact on merchants and requires no changes to backend payment systems.

The growth in mobile phone usage shows a clear trend toward wireless Internet devices. According to Nokia, during 2002, more people will be accessing the Internet with handheld, wireless devices than via landlines. Analyst and consulting company Ovum Limited suggests that, globally, 373 million wireless subscribers will be buying on-line in 2004.

A number of Visa m-commerce programs are currently underway worldwide to test the viability of m-commerce payment solutions and raise consumer awareness. In Asia, Visa has partnered with Hutchison Telecommunications and Dao Heng Bank to develop a mobile payment service using Mobile 3-D Secure. In Europe, Visa has signed a strategic alliance with Omnitel Vodafone while, in the US, Visa and Sprint are working together to help facilitate secure mobile payments and create opportunities to purchase goods and services over the Sprint PCS nationwide wireless network.

Barclaycard's IT Director, Jennifer Allerton, said: ''There is strong demand from consumers and merchants in Europe for mobile card payments. At Barclaycard, we have successfully trialed 3D-Secure on the Internet, and working with Visa and Arcot, we demonstrated 3D-Secure working over WAP in June. This announcement is a significant step forward in the development of m-commerce.''

The Mobile 3-D Secure specification can be obtained from Visa at mobile3d@visa.com .

Visa is the world's leading payments brand and the largest payments system worldwide. Visa-branded cards generate almost 2 trillion US dollars in annual volume and are accepted at over 22 million locations around the world. The Visa organisation plays a pivotal role in advancing new payment products and technologies to benefit its 21,000 member financial institutions and their cardholders. Visa is a leader in Internet based payments and is pioneering the creation of u-commerce, or universal commerce -- the ability to conduct commerce anytime, anywhere, over any type of device.

NOTE TO EDITORS: The following organisations participated in the creation of the Mobile 3-D Secure specification:

Aether Systems
Arcot Systems
Brodia
Brokat
Camtech (KeyCorp)
Ericsson
Gemplus
Gpayments
MobileWay
Motorola
Oracle Mobile
Orbiscom
Skygo
SmartTrust
Toshiba
Trintech

Per maggiori informazioni: Contact: Colin Baptie of Visa International, +1-650-432-4671, or cbaptie@visa.com