Payfone and Amex Team Up for Global Mobile Checkout Service

Mobile payment firm Payfone has formed a strategic alliance with American Express to create and power a new global mobile checkout service. As part of the agreement, Payfone will combine its advanced mobile authorization and payment services with American Express’ recently launched digital payments platform, Serve.

Working together, Serve and Payfone will provide consumers with the ability to buy from online merchants using their mobile phone number at the checkout. Consumers will be able to link their mobile numbers to a variety of payment methods, including their pre-or-postpaid mobile operator account, as well as a customer’s Serve account.

“This alliance brings together Serve’s unified online, mobile and real-world functionality with Payfone’s advanced mobile authorization and payment services to deliver a seamless payment solution,” says Dan Schulman, group president, enterprise growth at American Express. “The alliance is an important next step for the international roll out of Serve.”

Payfone leverages mobile operators’ existing assets, including the global SS7 signaling network for directly connected payment authorization and processing. This approach, says Payfone, distinguishes it from its competitors.

Payfone’s IP focuses on driving merchant’s sales conversion and revenue yield while managing fraud using new factors of authentication that are inherent in the mobile operator networks. For consumers, the company says, it means greater choice in payment methods and the most frictionless user experience, across any device.

“This relationship will be a defining force in the industry,” says Payfone CEO, Rodger Desai. “By teaming up with American Express’ new digital payments platform, Serve, we are not only delivering greater choice to consumers and merchants, with one of the most comprehensive and advanced eWallets in the industry, we are also enabling mobile operators to participate in the transaction flow and benefit from an entirely new revenue source. Over 5bn billion people worldwide currently have mobile phones, however less than 2bn have credit cards. It’s our goal to make the mobile phone number the new accepted way to pay.”