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MEF tackles Mobile Threats and Security implications as next phase of its m-Commerce Initiative

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MEF, the Global Community for Mobile Content and Commerce, has announced the next phase of its m-Commerce Initiative to develop privacy and security standards for m-Commerce in partnership with ASC X9’s Mobile Mirror Group, a joint initiative of leading financial institutions and mobile industry pioneers.

MEF and ASC X9 will develop a comprehensive industry guide identifying the wide-reaching Mobile Threats and Security implications for the mobile eco-system as well as consumers. KMPG predicts mobile payments worldwide will account for more than $900 billion in transactions by 2015. The initiative’s next phase was formally launched at MEF’s CTIA Wireless 2012 Panel in New Orleans, as a critical step in establishing the consumer trust and merchant confidence necessary to sustain the burgeoning m-Commerce industry.

ASC X9, the U.S. technical group that develops financial industry standards, will also use the output of MEF North America’s m-Commerce initiative as part of its creation of X9’s Mobile Commerce Standards, set to become the industry’s standards for m-Commerce. The standards will address inconsistent and incompatible systems as well as protect both merchants and consumers against industry damaging activity such as hacking, phishing and spoofing.

Additionally the Mobile Mirror Group has gathered stakeholders from across the financial and mobile value chain to provide input for an m-Commerce Lifecycle Whitepaper that identifies the barriers which must be overcome to accelerate market growth. Given the pivotal influence that the forthcoming standards will have on the mobile industry, financial industries, merchants, retailers and brands, MEF calls on all cross-industry stakeholders investing in m-Commerce to participate in the initiative.

Members participating in MEF North America’s m-Commerce initiative to date include:

• Buck

• Impact Mobile

• InComm

• Mobiroo

• Net Biscuits

• Nielsen

• Open Market

• PayOne

• Sidebar

According to MEF member responses, key issues that must be addressed by the standards include:

1) Viable solutions to existing business issues which work consistently for both large and small organizations

2) International compatibility; addressing both countries that have established and emerging m-Commerce technologies

3) Major security and privacy concerns around m-Commerce

“A key factor in defining standards for our industry is a comprehensive knowledge of the current payment models used by the mobile industry and an understanding that the emerging models are evolving out of online payment models and from dominant payment providers,” said Gary Schwartz, Chairman of MEF North America. “With a membership base that spans the entire mobile value-chain, MEF’s ongoing m-Commerce initiative and strong partnership with X9 will bring brands, financial institutions, content owners/producers, carriers and retailers together to create transparency and increase consumer confidence in mobile transactions. Establishing robust standards creates the consumer and merchant trust necessary for mobile to develop as a common and convenient payment tool.”

Consumer trust is also the driver for the recently announced global initiative from MEF looking at Privacy in Mobile Applications. Last month, an inaugural Privacy Summit was held in DC to launch the initiative whose goal is to help the global mobile industry build consumer trust when interacting with mobile apps that collect user data. The initiative has established a Working Group representing stakeholders from across the value chain to actively champion the groups’ objectives throughout the mobile ecosystem. Initial founding members of the initiative include Impact Mobile, InMobi, mBlox, SNR Denton and Vodafone.

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