WISeKey is committed to leading the development of a mobile payment infrastructure that uses local mobile operators and Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNOs) to provide services to upstream service providers and end-stream users by granting access to an 'M-Payment Telco platform.'
During the first two years of implementation, the commitment aims to support a regional population of 427 million people in the Mediterranean region.
This will be divided in two areas: The population of the northern-rim nations, representing around 192 million, and the population of the southern and eastern-rim nations of 235 million.
WISeKey expects major milestones, particularly in rural areas, where access to financial services is limited. In the poor countries of the Mediterranean region a large proportion of the population are excluded from formal banking systems and make payments entirely with cash, which is far less secure and flexible than electronic payment mechanisms.
This commitment will enable over 20 million people in less than two years to start using the m-payment service, allowing them to transfer money over the two major mobile networks in the region. This type of mobile-enabled financial services has the capability to bring advantages to all stakeholders:
- For users: an opportunity to become engaged in the formal banking sector, to facilitate and reduce the costs of remittances, and to enable financial transactions without the costs and risks associated with the use of cash, including theft
- For operators: a significant increase in text messaging revenues and a large drop in customer churn
- For consumers: m-commerce is more secure and flexible than cash, allowing consumers to make payments remotely
- For banks: an increase in their customer reach and the added cash float available to the bank
- For retailers: added business opportunities through the sale of prepaid account credits
- For micro-finance institutions: the ability to advance funds into remote areas and have regular repayments that do not significantly inconvenience the user
- For service industries and utilities: the ability to recieve payments electronically from a significant portion of the overall population
In order for upstream and downstream users of the M-Payment Telco Platform to connect to each other in an efficient manner, WISeKey is seeking to introduce the concept of the e-Identity in the Mobile world. The WISeKey e-Identity can reside on the SIM of the phone, be embedded in an application, be associated with an online authentication mechanism or other innovative approach that can be enabled through WISeKey?s technologies. The end-customer will be able to set his profile and connect upstream for value-added services, by uniquely and easily identifying their self with the e-Identity. The e-Identity technology will also allow the upstream providers to target very specific user groups. An example can be the notification of travelers when a plane or train is delayed. Of course, the public transport operator wants only to notify the right persons, and looks for more cost efficient ways when sending an SMS. Other applications can be targeted advertising, government services, loyalty points management, physical access control linked to the eID, etc.
WISeKey's M-Payment Telco Platform technical solutions would enable the following functionalities:
- Mobile digital signatures
The combination of these elements would also facilitate the creation of a new initiative WISeKey is embarking on called 'WISeCities' which focuses on the creation of high-tech services as part of the infrastructure of cities that open completely new models for interaction among the persons in cities as well as between the public and private sectors. As an example, the deployment of a wireless infrastructure enables new services to persons on the go, be they government services or private sector services. These types of WISeCities projects will accelerate the deployment of mobile banking applications among citizens. WISekey and Microsoft piloted this concept in the Biscayan Local Government (northern Spain), connecting 2 million citizens.
This new Mobile Payment Telco Platform commitment builds upon the previous commitment announced by WISeKey to expand the use of Digital Identification with the aim of increasing digital connectivity and secure transaction services. This commitment aimed to grown by 1 billion by 2015.
Timeline and Milestones:
Action: Launch of the M-services Telco Platform in the context of the Digital Mediterranean Space Project
Timing: October 2008
Impact: Gain Mediterranean governments backing and establish PPP with private sector represented.
Action: Coordination with governments in the Mediterranean Region
Timing: October 2008 - October 2009
Impact: Development work with specific government service and policy areas.
Action: Development work with Partners in the Mediterranean Region
Timing: March 2009
Impact: Develop business models and gain private sector backing and funding
Action: Initiate deployment of services through partners out of end users
Timing: Sep 2009
Impact: First deployments with pilots in the region.
Action: Ongoing deployment across the region and service sectors
Timing: Dec 2009 - Oct. 2010
Impact: Mass-deployment of Mobile Payment services via the M-Mobile Telco Platform to tens of millions of users.
Action: Expansion beyond the Mediterranean Region
Timing: October 2009 -
Impact: Expand beyond the region to hundreds of millions and add other m-services to the platform.
As the first concrete milestone of this M-Services Telco Platform in the context of the Digital Mediterranean Space Project, WISeKey and partner OISTE will help the government of Malaga become the new Euro-Mediterranean Hub, with the aim of optimizing economic-social-cultural relations between Europe and the Mediterranean Countries. This will be accomplished using the infrastructure of the Technology Park of Malaga and Malaga Valley and its unique geopolitical location. The project will be financed by the private sector, the European Union (EU) and the Spanish government.
Spain is eager to increase support to its continental neighbor, and the establishment of a Euro-Mediterranean Hub is a logical and essential step. The Hub will become both a super-platform for optimizing commercial, technological and cultural links between the European Union and Africa, and also meeting-point and a place for research and study. Its location in Malaga is the work of the International Organization for the Security of Electronic Transactions (OISTE), the provincial government and the local business sector. The Hub is a natural step following the significant investments already deployed to convert Malaga into a leader of Euro-Mediterranean initiatives. The provincial government of Malaga, with the help of Madrid and Brussels, has the firm objective to instantiate this new Hub as one of the major superhighways of Information Technology and Worldwide Communications (ICT).
To make the most of the potential of this project, the signatories intend to transform Malaga with this important technological Hub, which includes Internet technologies, M-Services Telco Platform for the new generation of mobile technologies, to provide sustainable electronic solutions, where security barriers and trust related to the use of public networks can be discussed. The identification of requirements for security services and the cost effective and the profitable aspect of this platform will ensure the provision of highly innovative services.
The Euro-Mediterranean Hub will operate in a first phase from Geneva, in the highly protected buildings of WISeKey. The subsequent transfer to Malaga will take place once the on-site infrastructure is fully operational. This innovative system will combine multiple physical and electronic security systems utilizing PKI solutions within a 'zero risk' secure environment, thanks to the extensive use of VPN (private data network) systems.
This initiative is an evolution of the agreement signed during the TELECOM'99 ITU in Geneva in November 1999, based on a partnership between WISeKey and the ITU to establish certification authorities in developing countries. Thanks to OISTE and WISeKey, 198 member countries of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) understand the need for a global trusted infrastructure under a shared common ROOT as it has been developed for OISTE and operated by WISeKey.
WISeKey will need partners such as telcos, banks, associations, companies, and NGOs to help with the distribution of the WISeID app which is free for developing countries. It is also in search of partners that will attach financial services to the app at a national level.