Paybox will next month launch what is said to be the first mass-market payment scheme for mobile phones, backed by a multi-million pound marketing campaign.

Deutsche Bank-owned Paybox claims that 4% of all e-commerce payments made in Germany since its launch there in January have gone through the Paybox system.

Paybox enables consumers to make purchases at both online and high-street retailers using a mobile phone for authentication.

The company claims the scheme will provide a significant boost to both eand m-commerce as consumers don't need to enter any credit card details. Payments are made by monthly direct debit from a consumer's bank account.

Paybox sales and marketing director Barry Shrier said: "The key is that this isn't new technology for consumers: it uses existing bank accounts and mobile phones. For merchants it's extremely powerful as it removes fraud issues." In Germany, Paybox has already signed up 300,000 consumers and 5,000 merchants, 4,000 offline. According to Shrier, it aims to reach one million consumers and 10,000 merchants throughout Europe by the end of the year.

Online, the system works by dialling a user's phone to request PIN authentication for real-time authorisation. At the high-street retail point of sale, a merchant simply enters the consumer's phone number, authenticated via the PIN. The Paybox system also enables consumers to make peer-to-peer payments.

Paybox claims to be in talks with a large number of high-street retailers, banks and phone distributors in the run-up to launch. The first retailer to be revealed was QXL.

"We have also signed up two online payment system providers for integration," said Shrier. "So at launch we'll be able turn on their tens of thousands of merchants." Paybox has appointed media agency JBBC for the UK launch campaign, which will run across TV, print and outdoor.

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Published 16 August, 2001 by NMA Staff

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