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Secure SMS micro-transactions coming to Belgium

Brian White

We're ready to start buying movie tickets, cab fare and soda pop using text messages 'round here, but we're not the only ones. There are 10 million mobile phone subscribers in Belgium that'll have the power to be buying everything from that same taxi ride to that hot pizza -- and potentially a whole lot more. The country is calling the new SMS commerce service a "world first" in that no other country has a system as unified or broad-based. Plus, although there are SMS commerce solutions in place already in some locales, the solutions aren't necessarily that secure and transaction guarantees aren't very clear, according to Vincent Roland, the chief executive of Belgian firm Banksys. So, come May of this year, Belgian wireless customers on carriers Proximus, Mobistar, and Base will only need an operable handset with service and a bank account to start buying all those daily purchases with a simple SMS. 1 lrg pza, plz.

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