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SAN FRANCISCO, 8 February 2000 - Widespread use of mobile phones to access the Internet and purchase goods and services online took a step closer to reality today as Visa International and Nokia announced a cooperation agreement to introduce payment solutions for mobile electronic commerce.

The worlds largest consumer payments organization and the worlds number one mobile phone manufacturer have signed a global agreement to develop ways in which financial institutions and mobile phone operators can offer secure payment services to their customers via a mobile phone. The organizations will carry out joint market development activities and pilot technical payment alternatives.

Under the agreement, Nokia and Visa will introduce a standardized means of making secure payments using a mobile phone, meeting different market requirements for security, risk management and dispute resolution. Both organizations are actively working on establishing open specifications, based on the Wireless Application Protocol (WAP) standard, to enable a mobile phone user to make secure, guaranteed payments over the Internet.

As well as conducting joint marketing and business development activities, Nokia and Visa will collaborate to simplify the payment process by developing a mobile e-wallet to allow for simple-click purchases. Nokia will also provide server applications based on WAP which will transmit payment data securely over wireless networks to financial institutions. A pilot of the technology will take place later this year with MeritaNordbanken in Sweden and Finland.

Said Hans van der Velde, president of Visas European Union region: "This is an exciting and tangible partnership which will have long term benefits for Visa member banks and cardholders, mobile phone operators and users worldwide. The last decade saw a phenomenal growth in payment cards, mobile phones, and the Internet. This agreement will combine all three to provide one of the first great innovations of the 21st century."

Yrjö Neuvo, executive vice president and chief technology officer of Nokia Mobile Phones, said: "Soon, mobile phones with wireless Internet capability will be in almost everyones pockets, building the basis of a truly mobile information society. Global security brands established by leading payment associations and financial institutions will have a crucial role in paving the way for consumers to adopt mobile commerce which is an important functional part of the mobile information society."

Nokia is developing and testing various implementations of secure card payments in the mobile environment, including a pilot of Visa card payments via a dual-chip GSM mobile phone. The mobile phone will contain two plug-in microchips, both the size of a SIM (Subscriber Identity Module) card. One chip - with SIM functionality - will be used to identify the subscriber to the phone network and allow the phone user to make calls and access the mobile Internet.

The second chip will be used to make authenticated Visa credit or debit payments. This second plug-in chip will be issued by the users bank, enabling the bank to manage the risk and security of the payment transaction.

"Our goal is to ensure that Visa member banks remain competitive in light of rapidly changing market needs and advances in technology," said Stephen Schapp, executive vice president of Global Products at Visa International. "Visa can do this by working across industries - and with companies like Nokia - to ensure that new technology platforms accommodate the needs of payments and related financial services. This partnership highlights Visas commitment to introduce secure, standardized payment solutions for e-commerce in these new environments."

Yrjö Neuvo added: "We see open standards and open service provisioning in the wireless Internet as crucial elements, ensuring global competition and a fast adoption of the latest innovations - which, in the end, benefit consumers the most".

In the next two to three years, consumers will increasingly rely on a range of mobile devices to access the Internet. It is generally expected that customized and personal devices will be the prevalent means of delivering a broad range of online services to consumers worldwide. Many see the mobile phone as becoming the most trusted, personal device. The growth in mobile phone usage over the last few years shows a clear trend towards small portable devices and Nokia estimates that there will be one billion mobile phone subscribers by the end of 2002.

The proliferation of these new consumer devices means that financial institutions can offer access to banking and other interactive financial services, including payment, at any time and from any location. Visas New Electronic Commerce Channels group is actively working on establishing strategic alliances with device manufacturers and other key industry leaders to enable and promote electronic commerce for mobile phones, interactive TV, and other developing channels.


Colin Baptie
Visa International
Tel: +1-650-432-4671
[email protected]

Tapio Hedman
Nokia Mobile Phones
Tel. + 358 10 505 5750
[email protected]

Note to Editors:

Pilot Project

A news release on the Visa/Nokia pilot with MeritaNordbanken in Finland and Sweden is available at http://www.visa.com/press

About WAP
Wireless Application Protocol (WAP) is an open global standard for communication between a digital mobile handsets and devices and the Internet or other value-added service. WAP-based technology enables the design of advanced, interactive and real-time mobile services, such as mobile banking and electronic commerce. The WAP specification enables solutions from various suppliers to work consistently for end-users on the digital networks. For more information about WAP, see www:wapforum.com.

About EMV
EMV stands for Europay-MasterCard-Visa - a joint industry working group created to facilitate the introduction of chip technology into the international payment systems environment by developing joint specifications for Integrated Circuit Cards (ICC) and terminals for Payment Systems. EMV 96 serves as the global framework for chip card and terminal manufacturers worldwide. New EMV specifications for chip electronic commerce have recently been published and form the basis for Nokias dual chip solution.

About Nokia
Nokia is paving the way to the mobile information society with its innovative products and solutions. The company is the leading mobile phone supplier and a leading supplier of mobile, fixed and IP networks, related services as well as multimedia terminals. In 1999, Nokias net sales totaled EUR 19.8 billion (USD 19.9 billion). Headquartered in Finland, Nokia is listed on the New York (NOK), Helsinki, Stockholm, London, Frankfurt and Paris stock exchanges and employs more than 55,000 people. Visit Nokia at http://www.nokia.com

About Visa
As the "Worlds Best Way to Pay," Visa is the worlds leading payment brand and the largest payment system worldwide with more volume than all other major payment cards combined. Visa plays a pivotal role in advancing new payment products and technologies to benefit its 21,000 member financial institutions and their cardholders. Visa has more than 80 smart card programs in 35 countries and on the Internet, with 23 million Visa chip cards, including eight million Visa Cash cards. Visa is pioneering SET Secure Electronic Transaction programs to enable and advance Internet commerce. There are over 880 million Visa, Visa Electron, Interlink, PLUS and Visa Cash cards, which generate more than US$1.4 trillion in annual volume. Visa-branded cards are accepted at over 18 million worldwide locations, including at more than 530,000 ATMs in the Visa Global ATM Network. Visas Internet address is http://www.visa.com.