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Kevin Smith


19 March 2002

As more and more of e-commerce flexes over to the mobile world one German company wants to be at the forefront of providing a new alternative for the m-commerce world.

With its new technology, enables consumers to pay for transactions, both in the online world and the bricks-and-mortar arena, using a mobile phone. The system makes it possible for retailers and other dealers to confirm orders and requests for services by sending SMS messages to mobile phone users.

The Company:

Founded in July 1999 by Mathias Entenmann, AG is a service-oriented company that has developed the world's first mass-marketable mobile phone payment method and established it on the international market.

Since February 2000, Deutsche Bank AG has held a 50 percent share in the company; debitel AG, Europe's largest telecommunications service provider, has held a 4.8 percent share since September 2000. The executive board and company employees hold the remaining shares. AG is led by an internationally experienced team of managers who traded in successful careers with renowned firms for the opportunity to be part of an exciting new venture. The company's vision is to become the worldwide leading secure and convenient mobile payment service for the physical "real" world and the virtual "online" world.

To ensure the smooth and secure operation of paybox, the company maintains strategic partnerships with renowned companies, such as Deutsche Bank (payment procedures), Lufthansa Systems (computing center, data security), Oracle (software), Compaq and Hewlett-Packard (hardware),and Intershop (e-commerce systems).

The Products:

paybox, a simple, secure and convenient payment service for cashless purchases of goods and services via mobile phone. In countries with a paybox subsidiary, paybox can be used with any mobile phone and on any network.

The paybox system creates a versatile and wide-scale network for payment solutions via mobile phone.

Users can easily send money to friends or coworkers at home and abroad, conveniently pay bills, reload their prepaid mobile phone cards around the clock and securely make payments on the Internet. They can additionally use it to pay for taxis, restaurants, hotels and an increasing number of other products and services.

paybox made its Internet debut in Germany with 50 partner companies on May 11, 2000. The company's initial goal was to sign on 200 online businesses by the end of 2000, which would allow consumers to easily and securely make purchases via mobile phone. The goal was reached within the first two months. More than 1,500 e-shops now offer paybox as a secure and convenient method of payment.

In July 2000, the company stepped into the "real" world by entering into an agreement with the Taxi Association of Frankfurt calling for 300 taxis in the city to use the new payment service. This marked the first time that transportation could be paid for via a mobile phone.

In the meantime, approximately 5,000 brick-and- mortar merchants such as Lindner Hotels and Karstadt-Hertie travel agencies, taxis and pizza delivery services accept paybox. Today, registered users can also send money to any mobile phone or to any German bank account and reload prepaid phone vouchers via their mobile phones.

paybox is also available in Sweden, Spain, Austria and the United Kingdom.

Through paybox Intelligent Architecture (PIA), a modular mobile payment implementation system, AG provides companies the possibility of immediately entering the m-commerce market by offering customers their own customized m-payment systems.

The company also recently introduced its SolutionPartnerProgram, through which it offers the "payboXML Interface Developer Kit."

The Future:

For the first time, independent companies can develop specialized software and hardware using the open paybox mobile payment standards. The unlimited possibilities include TV shopping solutions, call center applications, mobile ticket solutions--for movie theatres and transportation companies, SMS-based services (like navigation services for cars) and authorization services--and access control to Web sites or buildings.

paybox continues to target both wireless providers and service providers, both online and offline, for partnerships. The gaming industry remains one of the company's prime targets.

Spotlight: is republished from
Kevin Smith
Kevin Smith