Leading payment processor Total System Services Inc. has thrown its hat into the mobile payments arena. TSYS is developing a suite of integrated mobile solutions for about 100 of its clients in North America, employing mobile phone technology developed by London-based Telrock PLC.
Columbus, Ga.-based TSYS has already begun marketing in North America the short message service application from Telrock that enables cardholders to receive fraud alerts on mobile handsets in the form of text messages, as well as account notifications, and to make inquiries and pay credit card bills.
That service has reportedly been available to TSYS' European clients for over a year now.
Matt Jardina, Group Executive for Value Added Products at TSYS, said, "Our processing solutions enable companies to get new products to the market faster, improve efficiency and boost profitability.
"We have been extremely confident in our working relationship with Telrock, and this is reflected in our decision to enter into this further agreement with the company to serve our clients across North America."
Russell Robinson, Managing Director of Telrock, said, "The expansion of our partnership with TSYS marks an important milestone for Telrock, and we welcome the opportunity to extend our proven mobile solutions into the North American market.
"TSYS gives Telrock a single point of integration to provide its mobile solutions to a market of more than 200 million North American cardholders, giving us a strong foothold in the US market."
The TSYS leap into mobile payments follows Greenwood Village, Colo.-based First Data Corp.'s January 2008 decision to team up with Sprint Nextel Corp. and VIVOtech Inc. to launch a technology trial that will allow Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) riders to pay for rides using specially-equipped Sprint mobile phones.
The 230 trial participants will also be able to hold their Sprint phones up to "smart advertisements" for Jack in the Box Inc. and Sprint on BART station walls in order to download directions to the nearest Jack in the Box quick service restaurant - and then pay for a meal - or download digital content from Sprint.
Mobile payments depends on near field communication technology, where chipsets embedded into mobile phones hold the promise of turning cell phones and other mobile devices into electronic wallets.
At issue is how the telecom industry and the payments industry will share the proceeds from mobile transactions.
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