Upaid used last week's 3GSM Congress as a platform to announce the arrival of a new product - ValU, a hosted 'payments club' solution that connects with VisaNet and other providers' back-office systems at one end, and mobile subscibers at the other.
Processing payments via mobile has long been one of the industry's big hopes, but after years of trying, very little has emerged in to commercial reality.
Upaid hopes to change all this, as its senior VP of sales, Richard Owen explained, by integrating mobile devices in to existing banking systems, instead of trying to create new ones.
"We'd rather use real banking and payments processes than imitate them," said Owen.
Upaid's ValU is planned to go live in early 2008. The key features are that customer data is not exposed to the merchant or other third parties, being communicated only between Upaid and the user, the whole thing is compliant with VisaNet specifications, and everything is encrypted to 128 bit SSL, with 3DES being included in later upgrades.
Although the user interface with a merchant is set up over the mobile data link, the communication between the subscriber and Upaid is carried as an SMS message, thus providing out-of-band authentication.