The Belgian financial sector and the Belgian mobile telephone companies—Belgacom, BASE (KPN Group Belgium) and Mobistar—have partnered to launch a new mobile payment system in Belgium. Currently, they are planning to develop a product that will be accessible to the public at large with a launch date in 2011.
The continuous technological improvements, the growing range of mobile telephone functions (telephone calls, SMS messages, pictures/images, internet access, etc.) and the ever increasing user-friendliness have turned the mobile telephone into an indispensable tool for all Belgian citizens. Consequently, the financial sector, which wants to give a new boost to electronic payments in Belgium, and the telecom sector have begun planning new steps forward in the payment systems space.
The aim of the partnership is for these complementary industries to put their experience, know-how and expertise together so as to offer a new standard product for mobile payments in the Belgian market. The plans focus on payments security and user-friendliness of the new product for consumers and merchants alike. The purpose is to make it possible for consumers to swiftly use their mobile as an electronic wallet for the standard payment of small amounts (maximum 25 EUR). The system will be based on the use of SMS and contactless Near Field Communication (NFC) technology.
In practice, this new and fully mobile system will allow consumers to use their mobile for paying their car park ticket, bus fare, drinks and even their online purchases. This technological innovation also creates new opportunities for merchants in the field of payments.
The new system is the result of a close cooperation between the financial sector and the telecom sector. Both sectors are convinced that the development of a standard product is one of the key factors for a fast and effective growth of mobile payments in Belgium. The new payment system is scheduled for launch in 2011.