Telcos ditch m-commerce payment scheme

European mobile operators have abandoned attempts to set up a European-wide mobile payments scheme to help boost the purchase of mobile content.

European mobile operators have abandoned attempts to set up a European-wide mobile payments scheme to help boost the purchase of mobile content.

Simpay was originally set up in 2003 by Orange, T-Mobile, Vodafone and Telefónica Móviles. Its aim was to develop a system that would let European users buy mobile content wherever their location and whatever the network they were roaming on, using a more secure mobile SIM card-based system. 

But Simpay has thrown in the towel after failing to develop a system.

A Simpay spokesman said, “Following the decision of one of its founding members not to launch Simpay for the foreseeable future, a decision has been made not to pursue Simpay activity on a pan-European scale as originally planned.” 

The operator who pulled out has not been revealed.

Simpay said its operations would be "scaled back with immediate effect”. The organisation said member operators would be able to use Simpay’s intellectual property rights at a national level, “although international interoperability still remained a goal”. 

The spokesman said, “All Simpay operators continue to share the vision of the enormous potential of the mobile commerce market, and the importance of providing a robust and straightforward payment facility to content providers.” 

Forrester analyst Michelle De Lussanet said, “The mobile channel isn’t suited for large-scale payment collection because it’s too unreliable and too expensive.

“Simpay's pan-European mobile payment scheme was doomed from the start. The business volume from mobile content services transactions just isn’t there, either on a national or a pan-European basis, and operators’ collection costs are simply too high.”

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