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Mobile commerce expert calls for building integrated, unified mobile payment system
Saturday, February 16, 2013 Amman - Mobile commerce expert Sammy Tuffaha called for the telecommunications companies in the MENA region to join efforts to develop the mobile payment industry which would provide an integrated commerce interface allowing mobile phone users to pay bills, make purchases, and complete their financial transactions via their mobile phones.
February 17, 2013 8:17 by Amjad Baker
Mobile commerce expert Sammy Tuffaha called for the telecommunications companies in the MENA region to join efforts to develop the mobile payment industry which would provide an integrated commerce interface allowing mobile phone users to pay bills, make purchases, and complete their financial transactions via their mobile phones.
Tuffaha made such comments through his participation in the Electronic and Mobile Payment Conference held by the Information and Communications Technology Association of Jordan (int@j) to highlight vital current and future issues related to electronic and mobile payment industry, challenges, and opportunities in Jordan.
“Mobile commerce is the future of personal financial transactions around the globe. However, as the electronic and web-payment services have not yet matured in the MENA region, the transition to mobile commerce entails rigorous consumer education. This obstacle, combined with the limited availability of service standardization, calls for higher collaboration among service providers in an industry that is known for fierce competition,” Tuffaha said.
“Mobile-payment projects have become a priority for most telecommunications companies and financial institutions which often attempts to develop e-payment systems as a standalone service. What we need today is a comprehensive integration between mobile wallet systems, bill payments, merchant networks, loyalty programs, and value-added services that utilize similar technologies,” Tuffaha added.
Held under the patronage of Minister of Information and Communications Technology, Dr. Hatem Al-Halawani, and bringing together over 250 specialists in the industry of online and mobile payments, the event aimed at providing participants with a comprehensive overview of the services made available by the currently-used e-payment technologies.
It also opened the door for participants to discuss the successful attempts made in this field in other markets and the potential of setting up a unified, secure infrastructure capable of storing and manipulating data while performing accounting processes electronically.
In his speech at the conference, Tuffaha discussed the main types of electronic and mobile payments and the methods that can be applied in the MENA region, noting that the web-based technologies, especially the most seamless user-friendly mobile digital wallets which function much like physical wallets, are the most commonly used payment options.
“The growing increase in the use of the Internet and mobile phone services on one hand, and the increasingly penetration of near-field technology on the other hand are vital factors that push toward building a unified and integrated e-payment system that will contribute to reducing the time and effort needed to perform financial transactions, pay for products and services, settle civil liabilities owed to the government, or pay water, electricity, communications and other bills,” Tuffaha said.
Tuffaha noted that the e-wallet is like a smart card that allows users to store money and make electronic commerce transactions at sale points, online, or by using a mobile phone application and can be recharged through many deposit options, including the ATM and direct bank transfers. Tuffaha also shed light on experiences of other nations like the US and Kenya where e-payment technologies enjoy widespread acceptance among users and institutions concerned with e-operations.
Tuffaha called for promoting the e-payment culture, raising public awareness about electronic services, and engaging public and private sector institutions in setting up comprehensive strategies that aim at making payments by digital wallet both a habit and preference.
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