Mobile operators in Mexico and Australia are to begin mobile payment services in collaboration with their respective country’s banks. In Mexico, Reuters reports that Telefonica Mexico and Iusacell have teamed up with local banks such as Citigroup and BBVA to launch a mobile payments service targeted at teenagers. The service, which is expected to be rolled out over the next few months, will allow subscribers to make payments at participating stores, restaurants and taxis by sending a text message. However, the report notes that while most of the country’s big banks have signed up to the scheme, the country’s largest mobile operator – America Movil’s Telcel – has yet to do so.
Meanwhile, Australia’s largest mobile operator Telstra has teamed up with National Australia Bank – one of the country’s ‘big four’ banks – and credit card company Visa to launch a contactless mobile payments trial that allows users to charge purchases to their credit card account by waving their phone over a reader. The initial trial, which claims to be the first of its kind in Australia, will involve 200 people and 12 retailers in a district of Melbourne. The trial is designed to provide a quick and convenient payment method for low-value items such as food and newspapers. The maximum transaction value is A$35 (US$30).