HONG KONG — Sept. 16, 2009 — Microsoft Corp. and M-Com today announced a solution offering that provides banks and payment processors with industry-leading mobile payments functionality — creating more opportunities for banks to offer mobile payments services to their customers and maximize their revenue opportunities. This solution clearly demonstrates that consumer choice and deployment flexibility for banks are key to the success of global mobile payments solutions for the financial services industry. The announcement was made at Sibos 2009, the industry’s premier global financial services forum.
Using Microsoft technologies, M-Com BankAnywhere provides a complete end-to-end mobile payments solution for the banking industry worldwide. The comprehensive solution provides best-practice security and risk management capabilities, ensuring that banks can effectively manage the exposure of their brands and services in the emerging market for mobile technology. As a fully integrated solution, it reduces the total cost of ownership (TCO) for the mobile channel for banks.
A Microsoft Gold Certified Solution Developer, M-Com supports BankAnywhere across the globe and, in doing so, utilizes Microsoft resources and best practices in deploying BankAnywhere. The use of standard Microsoft technology, including Windows and Microsoft SQL Server, as well as Internet Information Services (IIS), allows enterprise users of BankAnywhere to benefit from existing industry-standard technology management tools and practices.
“Consumers today have many options and channels, requiring financial services firms to engage customers through a highly personalized, connected experience — consistent across all touch points — that builds strong relationships, creates customer intimacy and boosts loyalty,” said Susan Hauser, vice president of Worldwide Financial Services at Microsoft. “Today’s announcement underscores our efforts to provide multichannel integration that allows financial institutions to benefit from mobile and new media channels as part of the overall connected experience. Our alliance with M-Com expands our partner ecosystem for payments and mobile solutions and further validates our leadership position as a provider of payment processing platforms.”
Financial institutions, facing declining revenue from traditional credit cards, are looking to use mobile payments to replace cash-dominated lower value payments to generate new revenue streams. This is important for banks and retailers, as cash handling is both expensive and a security risk.
“With the increasing adoption of mobile applications running on smartphones, the mobile channel can no longer be ignored by banks,” said Red Gillen, senior analyst at Celent. “Mobile payments continue to be at the top of the list of applications that will entrench mobile financial services in consumers’ daily lives, propelling it into the mainstream. As banks look to invest in this strategic area, vendors that can provide solutions which go beyond simple mobile banking informational services to address other value-added services such as bill payment will be the ones that come out on top.”
For most financial institutions, paper-based payment transactions are expensive to support and offer few opportunities for differentiation. While the cost metrics associated with processing checks and cash payments vary substantively across jurisdictions, financial institutions, and payment types, it is well understood that electronic payments — including those carried out through mobile phones — have a direct positive impact on for the cost structures of payers, payees and financial institutions alike.
Global consumer demand also is helping to propel this migration. The growing ubiquity of mobile phones and their increasing multifunction capabilities make these devices a compelling candidate for replacing a physical wallet.
“It is clear that consumers in Asia and around the world have an insatiable demand for mobile financial services, especially payment transactions,” said Adam Clark, CEO of M-Com. “Banks must engage their customers and prospects in the mobile channel in the short term to ensure they profit from sustainable revenues and key customer segments that are adopting these services.”
As prominent examples, Bangkok Bank and KeyBank both recently selected a mobile financial services solution that leverages the M-Com BankAnywhere platform. The institutions chose Mobile Money from Fiserv Inc., which was launched in conjunction with M-Com in September 2008. Fiserv, a partner of Microsoft and M-Com, is the leading global provider of financial services technology solutions.
“The uptake of this cutting-edge consumer banking technology demonstrates a significant shift in how banks across the world connect with their customer,” said Karen Campbell, executive vice president at Bangkok Bank. “Customers in Asia are at least as demanding as their counterparts in Europe and the U.S. — they need the portable banking tools to complement their busy, highly mobile lifestyles.”
The mobile payment experience should be delivered across multiple mobile devices, manufacturers and cellular phone carriers to accommodate the personal preferences of the target audience: the consumer. This is the only way that choice can be extended across global markets. BankAnywhere on the Microsoft platform addresses these business imperatives by delivering the following:
New revenue opportunities from payment and value-added transactions
Cost elimination through a proven ability to move customers to lower-cost, self-service channels
Differentiation and control over the bank’s mobile channel and the user experience they provide to customers
“We needed a product that would scale to a large number of users and could be extended to meet the diverse needs of Key’s multiple lines of business and client segments,” said Allison Landers, senior vice president, Virtual Banking, KeyBank. “Mobile banking is a strategic opportunity area for banks. By adopting the M-Com BankAnywhere platform for SMS, we’re providing our clients a strong first step into mobile banking with a seamless and compelling user experience.”
Mobile banking services are the best way to open up a mobile-centric relationship with consumers. Open loop payment mechanisms, choice of payment execution models, and interoperability across devices are essential to delivering the optimal experience. With its ecosystem of payments partners, including M-Com and Fiserv, Microsoft is helping banks through the complexity and challenges of mobile financial services.
About Microsoft in Financial Services
Microsoft’s Financial Services Group provides software that helps financial firms transform the customer, employee and operations experience so they can maximize opportunities for increased market share and profitability. Microsoft software helps empower people and IT staff within financial firms — and across key focus areas such as advisor platforms, channel renewal, insurance value chain, enterprise risk management and compliance, and payments. Through a combination of Microsoft- and partner-provided solutions, customers enable their employees to turn data into insight, transform ideas into action and turn change into opportunity.
More information about Microsoft’s Financial Services Group can be found at http://www.microsoft.com/financialservices.
Headquartered in Atlanta, GA, M-Com is an international mobile banking and payments solution provider working with banks and transaction processors in North America, Australasia, Europe, the Middle East and Asia. M-Com’s core proposition is centered on delivering world class adoption and revenue metrics from mobile payment services.
For more information, visit http://www.mcom.co.nz.
Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.
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