The New York-based Financial Services Technology Consortium (FSTC) has completed the initial phase of its Mobile Payments Technology Project, which examines various technology models supporting today's mobile payments and plans to make recommendations for a future interoperable mobile payments infrastructure.
The consortium is comprised of more than 30 organizations that include banks, technology providers, government agencies, clearinghouses and industry think-tank groups. The 4-1/2-month initial phase of the project involved more than 80 individuals. The initial effort focused on researching, documenting and organizing current technology and evolving capabilities in today's mobile payments arena. The project required that the team divide itself into four functional work groups to cover key disciplines making up the broader framework.
Groups and their activities included: The Network/Handsets Work Group, which researched the top wireless carriers and handset manufacturers and compiled a broader spectrum of industry background information and materials; the Architecture Group, which researched regulatory and compliance matters along with a review of related patents and intellectual property; The Application Team, which documented 18 mobile payment use case summaries it identified as top considerations relative to the progressing mobile payment framework or infrastructure; and the Security Work Group, which reviewed the use case summaries developed by the Applications Team against the back drop of current security methodologies in practice today.
The second phase of the project will be a four month exercise targeting security and architecture priorities. The security team will drill down into top use cases and principles to ensure security around mobile initiated payments and authentication challenges. The Architecture team will map out the flows associated with an interoperable infrastructure.
In the third phase, the FSTC project series will develop standards recommendations for transaction formats and security aimed at supporting interoperability and facilitating adoption.
The FSTC is working closely with official industry standards bodies including participation of overlapping team members working on both the FSTC project and mobile payments standards committees. The project series is expected to continue into 2009. The final phase is targeted to complete in the third quarter with recommendations submitted to the 18 month ANSI initiative for setting standards around mobile payments.