Unisource, a joint venture of the major telephone companies of Holland, Sweden, Switzerland, and Spain, is planning a banking and payment trial this year using the European GSM standard for wireless communications.
Unisource and PTT Telecom of the Netherlands, one of its owners, are funding the project, with technology support from the likes of Apple Computer, Nokia Mobile Phones, National Westminster Bank, and Mondex UK.
Time Out magazine in London and Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam will be the key on-line sites in the trial. GSM mobile phones can be linked to Apple Newton hand-held computers, with information and products paid for as delivered. The system can be accessed from anywhere there is a GSM service and can accommodate both shopping and banking, including cash-loading onto Mondex chip cards.
"The business targets the subscription model," said Julian Wilson, Unisource's director of service development. "'Cash registers' and 'ATMs' on the Internet offer our customers a very low cost, flexible billing system and the consumer a far greater choice for less commitment."