Smartcard operating system consortium Maosco has developed a secure platform for ecommerce using mobile phones.
Maosco, which created the Multos smartcard operating system, has teamed up with software developer Mobecom to produce a secure multi-application SIM card.
The SIM card is a postage stamp-sized smartcard that holds a mobile phone users' identity and telephone profile. Security for mobile internet transactions is a major concern for banks and financial institutions. Multi-application SIM cards are expected to play a key role in securing mobile ecommerce.
SIM technology has previously not been able to offer a high standard of security for banks or financial institutions, according to Nick Habgood, chief executive of Maosco. "By working with Mobecom, we've put Multos - the only proven secure smartcard environment - into a SIM environment. So now we have SecureSIM, the first truly secure mcommerce enabler," he said.
"There is a huge demand for secure payment applications and the inherent security and personalisation features of SIM make it the technology of choice for secure transactions."
The Multos multi-application smartcard platform allows multiple independent applications to be loaded or deleted from the card. Applications are segregated by firewalls to ensure high security.
Other smartcard operating systems for securing GSM mobile phone communications include the Javacard, which is supported by Sun Microsystems. So far the Multos card has not been compatible with the Javacard, although a basic compatibility has now been agreed.
A common standard for smartcards is absent, according to researcher Durlacher, which adds that too many have been created for the smartcard operating platform. The researcher predicts that no single standard will gain a leading position.
Until a standardised multi-application card is developed, the smartcard market will be difficult to forecast, said Durlacher.
Members of Maosco, the consortium behind Multos, include American Express, Fujitsu, Hitachi, Mastercard, Motorola and Infineon Technologies. Mobecom is a new business created to develop mobile ecommerce solutions.
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