Mobile operators sign up to Payforit

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Mobile operators sign up to Payforit

A micro-payment service designed to make it easy to pay for low-cost services from a mobile phone has been launched in the UK with the support of all licensed UK mobile operators.

Payforit was announced in March last year, and was developed with the backing of Vodafone, Orange, 3, O2 and T-Mobile to promote a trustworthy and consistent standard for paying by mobile phone.

The new platform allows users to make small one-off payments or set up subscription services via their phone.

Payforit removes the need for a credit card or bank account as the cost is added to the user's bill or deducted from a pay-as-you-go balance.

The system is managed by licensed third parties and aims to add a consistent interface regardless of the user's handset or network operator, helping to remove the confusion created by current payment options.

Payforit is similar to online payment schemes such as PayPal or Google Checkout. The user clicks on the Payforit link and is presented with an authorisation page to make the payment. An information screen then provides details about the purchase.

Mobile users have steered clear of mobile payment systems so far owing to uncertainty about the total cost involved and the confusion created by each different platform.

"Payforit is about opening up the micro-payment choices, but it is not a total cash replacement," said Mike Short, chairman of the Mobile Data Association.

"It is for those customers who have not felt comfortable with mobile transactions or payments."

Payforit will initially support payments of under £10 for services such as train tickets, ring-tones, games, maps and other mobile content.

The scheme is expected to expand to offer a wide range of other payment options including purchasing good from online stores.
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