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Upaid engages IBM for global m-payments

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LONDON & PARIS - 27 October 2003 - Upaid, a leading provider of mobile payment technology and services, today announced that it has entered into a contract with IBM to offer on demand m-payment services to banks, mobile operators and credit card companies. Through this agreement, Upaid is able to provide an m-payment processing utility to any organisation wishing to deliver m-payment services to consumers in their own region. The initial application being offered is the top-up of prepaid mobile phones from credit and debit card accounts using SMS.

Ashley Ward, CEO of Upaid, stated: 'The combination of Upaid and IBM is an unrivalled team in the market. SMS-based top-up of prepaid mobiles using a credit or debit card is an ideal market for launching on demand m-payment services because of the multiple benefits the service offers both banks and mobile operators. This capability allows every bank, mobile operator and merchant to connect to a central m-payment processing centre that we hope will become the logical choice for delivering m-payment services in the future.'

Laurent Kocher, Director of e-Business Hosting Services, IBM West Region, commented: 'IBM offers the scalability and reach to make this mobile payments service ubiquitous and available globally. We are pleased to have already worked with Upaid to deliver prepaid top-up services, and this business model is a clear example of the flexibility of IBM's e-business on demand service offering.'

Upaid and IBM were contracted by Visa International's CEMEA (Central Europe, Middle East and Africa) region to provide technology and services for enabling its mobile recharge service - an SMS top-up facility for prepaid mobile phones direct from a Visa card.

The m-payment processing engine, which is available now, offers a complete package for delivering m-payments to consumers. Providers of m-payment services (principally banks, mobile operators and credit card companies) throughout the world can connect via secure VPN links to the central payment processing hub to access Upaid's application.

For further information, please contact :

Nick Giles or Sam Routley
MS&L;/ for Upaid
+44 (0)20 7878 3151 / 3137

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