French carriers form micropayment venture

French carriers Orange, SFR and Bouygues have joined forces with IT services firm Atos Origin to form a new joint venture dedicated to exploring a mobile payments initiative.

The platform, Buyster, will be available to users for fixed and mobile internet purchases in France from mid-2011 and is backed by major local online retailers including Aquarelle, Brandalley, Darty and Rue du Commerce.

Buyster will be targeting the payment platform at online merchants. “Over the next five years, we are counting on a share of the mcommerce market representing 10 per cent of the turnover for ecommerce with an estimated amount of just over €6bn,” said Eric Gontier, CEO of Buyster.

The venture claims to enable mobile operators to supplement their existing remote payment services by addressing the market for online-macro payments. Users will be able to use Buyster to link their bank card to their phone number in a secure way. Then they can use their phone number and a Buyster code to make purchases online.

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