RealTime IT News

Visa Pushes U-Commerce

Visa International launched what it calls the Mobile 3-D Secure specification to assure the security of Internet payments made over mobile phones.

The specification is based on existing payment technologies, the company said, adding that it furthers Visa's goal of offering universal commerce (u-commerce) -- the ability to conduct secure commerce anywhere, anytime, with any type of device.

Visa said the specification was developed in conjunction with 15 industry players, including Ericsson, Motorola and Oracle Mobile.

Visa is not alone in this space; VeriSign also has a wireless payment services platform and MasterCard is also involved.

The new Visa specification allows card issuers to validate the identity of their cardholders in real time. It also "ensures that payment data sent over open networks is not compromised and allows consumers to actively protect their Visa accounts from unauthorized use when shopping online over mobile devices," the company said.

"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 and requires no changes to backend payment systems, Visa said.

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 United States, Visa and Sprint are working together to facilitate secure mobile payments over the Sprint PCS nationwide wireless network.