Singapore's mobile carriers team up on mobile payments

Singapore's three mobile operators, MobileOne Pte. Ltd. (M1), Singapore Telecommunications Ltd.'s SingTel Mobile and StarHub Pte. Ltd.'s StarHub Mobile, announced plans Monday to collaborate with industry partners to build a common infrastructure that will enable Singaporeans to make mobile commerce payments.

In a joint statement, the three operators said the move is in response to a call by Singapore's Infocomm Development Authority for the three operators to work together to enable a mobile payments infrastructure.

Chan Kin Hung, Vice-President, StarHub Mobile, said, "Once implemented, consumers will be able to use their mobile devices to choose their preferred payment mode for almost any desired service. Vendors and merchants will also enjoy a more conducive environment from which new and innovative services can easily be built and integrated. We believe this initiative may be one of the first in the world."

Chan added that the national-level collaboration on a mobile commerce infrastructure, by the three traditional rivals, could be a "world's first".

All three mobile operators will work closely to jointly evaluate, test and ensure the operational, commercial and technological viability of the proposed mobile payment solutions.

Interested mobile payment solution providers may form consortiums or likewise to offer an end-to-end solution covering payment mechanisms, financial arrangements and merchants in their proposal. Evaluation criteria include the provision of an open standard, security, scalability, end-to-end solution and payment in multiple ways.

Proposals are due in August 2001 with trials expected to begin in October 2001.

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