UK-based mobile phone operator Vodafone has begun trials of a mobile payment system that will allow customers in the UK, Germany and Italy to pay for goods with the transaction authenticated via their phone.
If the trials with selected customers are successful the company hopes to launch a larger public trial late in the year. Eventually, it aims to make the service available to 50 million customers across the UK and Europe.
Users making an m-commerce payment will be identified by their mobile device and will enter a PIN code to confirm and authorise each transaction using established credit and debit cards.
The customer's payment and address details are kept in an electronic wallet so that card details do not need to be entered each time, just the PIN code.
Vodafone is consulting with banks and payment service providers across Europe to develop open interfaces to facilitate the adoption of its payment services, and said that the initiative will boost the growth of m-commerce.
Thomas Geitner, chief executive of global products and services at Vodafone, said: "As part of the Vodafone service offering, we want our customers to be able to use their mobiles as a payment tool so that, ultimately, they will be able to pay for services and make purchases in shops or when they're online.
"Our mobile payment initiatives will create further stimulus for the mobile economy."
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