Ericsson, Visa team on mobile e-commerce

Ericsson and Visa International are teaming up to develop secure payment methods for wireless electronic commerce.

The move will help ensure that banks can offer their Visa cardholders secure ways to buy goods and services online via their mobile phones, the companies said.

Ericsson and Visa will develop payment solutions based on standards such as WAP (wireless application protocol), Bluetooth, SET (secure electronic transaction) and EMV (Europay-MasterCard-Visa), a specification for smart cards and payment system terminals.

The companies also plan to develop a payment system for Ericsson's Bluetooth-enabled wireless wallet, a device that will be able to interact with a mobile phone, allowing users to pay for purchases without even removing it from their pocket.

Bluetooth is a new protocol for wireless data and voice transmission that uses radio technology to connect PCs, mobile phones, handheld devices and peripherals to one another. Ericsson's wallet - which will look much like a conventional wallet - contains several smart card readers. When a smart card is inserted into the wallet, it can communicate with a Bluetooth-enabled mobile phone. One application might be paying for concert tickets with a WAP phone, then having the tickets sent to the wireless wallet, the companies said.

Visa and Ericsson will also both participate in standards committees, test prototype products and payment methods, and work to adapt SET - a protocol for secure electronic payment - for mobile devices, the companies said.

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