Three Star Approach – An Interface
                              less Interface for Mobile Commerce


Introduction                                                based on the context of use.
Technical advances in the f...

                                                              Figure 2.


                                                              Figure 3.


                                                           Figure 4.


                                                              Figure 5.


Three Star Approach – Pay Money                             This service request is meant to initiate the payment

Figure 7.

Mrs. Sheetal gets a reply from the network.
The service center number is 925.

Figure 8.

Mrs. Sheet...

                                                         Figure 9.


                                                       Implementation Models

Security Challenges                                         4. Data Integrity – The quality-of-service parameters

3. Encouraging adoption of next generation ...

                                                           [7] Bushe, S. Mobile Commerce – The Future Starts
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USID2008 - Three Star Approach - An Interface less Interface for Mobile Commerce


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Paper published and presented at User Software Interface Design 2008 India International Conference held at Bangalore 3rd-5th September 2008.

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USID2008 - Three Star Approach - An Interface less Interface for Mobile Commerce

  1. 1. Three Star Approach – An Interface less Interface for Mobile Commerce Abstract as using a mobile device for business transactions Author With our growing performed over a mobile telecommunications network, Mudit Mittal, appetite to adapt to possibly involving transfer of monetary values. Human Factors International technology, we are Mumbai, India. confronted with This paper explores how a new easy-to-use mobile insatiable demand for payment protocol can ease the present scenario of high speed flexible mobile payment solutions. The protocol acts as an Shimolee Nahar, commerce services and interface-less-interface, allowing technology access to Human Factors International growing needs for a all mobile phone users irrespective of the hardware Mumbai, India secure anytime used. As the suggested approach is build on existing anywhere commerce network capabilities, it can be implemented with a solution. Due to minimalist framework and industry regulations put in tremendous popularity, place. The suggested solution has the potential to mobile phones have maximize the reach of m-commerce services to even emerged as a medium the users with a basic mobile phone and hence to allow technology providing a wider choice of users for m-commerce access to maximum service providers. number of people and Keywords hence are of greater business value. m-commerce, three star approach, mobile payment We define m-commerce Copyright is held by USID Foundation (earlier USID Foundation) USID2008, September 4 – September 6, 2008, Hyderabad, India
  2. 2. 2 Introduction based on the context of use. Technical advances in the field of mobile payment Three Star Approach – Receive Money solutions, mobile banking and upcoming near field communication devices have strengthened the The Three Star approach is a simple, intuitive and feasibility of cashless transactions and mobile wallet. secure approach to transfer money at speed. This The bottleneck of the existing and upcoming mobile approach can allow any mobile user to transfer money commerce solutions is their dependence on software, using mobiles by creating a service request to ‘Receive’ hardware or both. Further, slow mobile internet money. The process is initiated by the ‘Receiver’ – the connections coupled with unintuitive user interface for person who is the beneficiary. For clarity of flow, the small screens, adds to user problems. These factors concept has been defined with help of a scenario. limit the reach and using capabilities, hence reducing their effectiveness. We need an easy-to-use mobile payment interface which can allow fast and secure transaction capabilities to mobile users irrespective of the type mobile handset or network used. Three Star approach attempts to utilize the capabilities of packet data networks to allow money transactions which are as intuitive as making a call. The approach has two versions, each of which is explained below with help of a scenario, designed Figure 1. Mr. Prakash wants to help Rahul improve his English vocabulary skills and hence gets him a dictionary. Rahul wants the book so he calls his father to make the payment.
  3. 3. 3 Figure 2. Rahul asks his teacher Mr. Prakash to send a money transfer request to his father Mr. Anil. Mr. Prakash quickly types Mr. Anil’s mobile number, transfer amount, his PIN and press ‘CALL’ button to send a money transfer service request. The service request comprises of three types of information separated by a ‘*’. User initiates a money transfer request by dialing a ‘*’. The first information is the mobile number of the ‘Payer’ – the person whose account will be deducted. The information after the second ‘*’ specifies the transaction amount. Finally after third ‘*’, user enters security PIN and press the dial button.
  4. 4. 4 Figure 3. Network sends SMS to both the users from 729. The service request goes to the network which verifies and authenticates the ‘Receiver’ and connects to the network of the ‘Payer’ much in the same way as it connects the call. After verification at the end of ‘Payer’ network, a confirmation message is sent to the ‘Receiver’ confirming the acceptance of money transfer request. As a security measure the identity of ‘Payer’ is not revealed immediately. At the same time, ‘Payer’ gets a message asking for confirming the payment request.
  5. 5. 5 Figure 4. Mr. Anil makes a payment by replying via SMS. The difference here is that Mr. Prakash sent a special service request, while Mr. Anil has to reply via SMS. This difference in interaction ensures that the written record of payment confirmation exits in the system. The reason for choosing 729 as the service center number for payment request SMS is the large distances between the keys reduce chances of user making a mistake while generating the request. Also, for mobiles, while typing in text mode the same key combination is used to type ‘PAY’. To cancel the payment request, user can either reply in a similar format, but keeping the amount field blank (e.g. sends *9325581639**1704 via SMS to 729) or not do anything for 1 hour. The service request expires automatically if not replied to within an hour. This ensures added safety and network quality-of-service.
  6. 6. 6 Figure 5. Network confirms transaction by providing receipts to both the parties. On successful transfer of amount, system delivers a receipt to both the parties revealing date, time, amount of transfer and the identity of other party. Though this approach can handle money transfer requests, but it is limited by the fact that the ‘Receiver’ or the beneficiary needs to initiate the process. In our daily lives, we come across many situations where it is not possible for the beneficiary to generate a transfer request. Though the suggested approach can take care of all individual-to-individual level daily transactions, we surely require a variant of this approach to address individual-to-institution level transactions, for example payment of electricity bills, etc.
  7. 7. 7 Three Star Approach – Pay Money This service request is meant to initiate the payment The approach explained above focused on requests procedure only. The request is first verified for from individuals to receive money from other authenticity and then the network provides a ‘Pay Key’ individuals. This variant of the above approach to the user which has to be included by user in place of attempts to address requests from individuals to mobile number to generate an authorized payment directly request for paying the amount to institutions. request. The ‘Pay Key’ is generated on run-time basis for the request received by the network and remains Here, the paradigm is completely different as the user valid for a period of 1 hour only. Another change in the is expected to have a pre-existing relationship with the approach is that the payment request SMS are sent to institution (e.g. Electricity Board, Municipality Board, 925 instead of 729, to avoid confusions. Income Tax, etc). Allocating a 6 digit Unique Identification Number to each institution will allow ease Having a two step process allows network to identify of operations for networks and users as well. User can the beneficiary and the ‘Pay Key’ ensures a safe and send a request to the UIN of the institution followed by secure transaction for both the parties. their PIN to initiate the payment request. The entire approach is described in detail with help of a scenario. Figure 6. While on a business trip Mrs. Sheetal gets a reminder to pay for her electricity bills. She immediately creates a service request and press CALL button.
  8. 8. 8 Figure 7. Mrs. Sheetal gets a reply from the network. The service center number is 925. Figure 8. Mrs. Sheetal creates a payment request based on the ‘Pay Key’ received from the network.
  9. 9. 9 Figure 9. Mrs. Sheetal gets a payment receipt from the network. This is how both the three star mobile payment approaches work. As none of the two approaches have dependency on mobile devices or the user interface, they have the potential to be an easily acceptable and scalable solution models in the mobile commerce industry market.
  10. 10. 10 Implementation Models The three essential entities involved in all the transactions are the end users, the network service provider and the banks. Three Star approach can offer tremendous flexibility of implementation to all the stakeholders involved. 1. End user – For debit or credit of the money, users can register with either a Bank or a Third Party or the Service Provider itself (as an additional service). But in all cases a registration with the service provider shall be necessary. 2. Service Provider – They shall have the option to offer Mobile Wallet facility to users wherein for all transactions, the amount is not debited or credited to user’s bank account. 3. Bank – The banks can offer credit as well as debit facilities to their customers, depending on their credibility and account history. This can also help simplify their existing mobile banking solutions. Fig 10. Implementation structure and system entities
  11. 11. 11 Security Challenges 4. Data Integrity – The quality-of-service parameters Studies have shown that it takes an average of 68 for the network ensures the level of accuracy and minutes for a person to realize that his/her mobile reliability for the time taken for the transactions to take phone is missing compared to 26 hours to realize that place in real-time. their credit card is missing. Also, credit cards, once stolen can be used by anyone without the knowledge Business Drivers of actual owner, while mobile payments require secure passwords and network approaches for encrypted The networks play a big role in setting up the approach transactions can be put in place to enhance security and making it look easy for the users, so a small levels. So, in a way mobiles are better suited for premium charged to avail payment services would be commerce transactions when compared to conventional widely acceptable. Looking at the number of mobile credit cards. users (over 2 billion globally and over 100 million in India, as of June 2006), it is a lucrative proposition for As per Trintech, a world leader in providing transaction the networks, the financial institutions and the device risk management solutions, solution to electronic fraud manufacturers to take up the opportunity. There are is to implement a system that complies with the basic three major drivers that are mobilizing companies to tenets of: deploy mobile payment: 1. Authentication – In both the versions of the three 1. Maximization of revenue from wireless services – star approach, system has to verify the authenticity of The motivation for network operators is to drive data the request and only then the network can authorizes services through their networks. In order to do this, the the transaction after successful validations. payment requirements for data services will be the responsibility of network operators and these include – 2. Confidentiality – This is a major concern for people handle payment and settlements for third party content which can define the level of acceptance of the solution. or services; maximize reach by supporting various Due attention has to be given to protect the identity of payment models; and charge on a wide range of mobile users from malicious or unwanted sources. To a metrics. large extent, the approach takes care of this challenge. 2. Handset as personal trusted device - This is one of 3. Non-repudiation – This is a prime concern in case of the main motivators for financial institutions. For banks legal disputes. Sending a confirmation message to both and payment associations, the wireless device could the parties involved in the transaction and saving a solve one of their most difficult problems: how to copy of the same on the central server takes care of secure all virtual transactions and reduce fraud. The such issues. network security protocols coupled with a personal PIN can assure safety and security of transactions.
  12. 12. 12 Concerns 3. Encouraging adoption of next generation mobiles - For the major device manufacturers, the roll-out of It has never been easy to come up with scalable and 2.5G and 3G applications is crucial to their long-term easy-to-use solutions for small screens. Most of the future. Availability of flexible and easy-to-pay options present mobile commerce solutions are limited by will allow content developers to come up with more constraints like lack of standards, form factor, personalized and useful services and hence creating a hardware, software, interaction styles, limited user desire to upgrade the mobile devices. attention, dynamic environment and context. As the Three Star approach has no interface of its own, Similar Solutions it has minimalistic dependency on the listed The field of mobile commerce is still in its infancy, but it constraints. But still the service providers need to has been witnessing rapid growth in recent times. As a follow a standardized payment framework to make it result of this, a host of mobile commerce solutions exist easy for end user. Another aspect is that this approach already. Many banks have already come up with their is more suitable for micro transactions, i.e. transactions customized mobile banking solutions, though due to involving small amounts. Macro transactions demand a user interface problems, most of them failed to gain sophisticated and more advanced solution as the needs any popularity. Recently Oxigen, an Indian group and desires of the user change accordingly. The backed by Microsoft, launched mobile payment service concern here is to define the levels distinguishing by the name of Oxicash which is an example of the between micro and macro level of transactions, though third party being involved in the transaction cycle. As the task may sound easy, but it might not be so. Also, an another example Mumbai’s public transport there is a requirement to have legal, financial and operator, BEST launched ‘Go Mumbai’, an alternative regulatory frameworks in place before such services are for paying bus fares. launched. At international level, RFID solutions are being experimented in an attempt to come up with the best option. Mobile commerce is already a common term in Japan and to some extent in US. Many European countries have been chosen for field testing of the upcoming Near Field Communication (NFC) devices. The NFC devices are expected to add new dimensions to the capability of mobile commerce.
  13. 13. 13 [7] Bushe, S. Mobile Commerce – The Future Starts Conclusion with M2MPayments. The three star approach in its raw sense allows any [8] Mobile User Stats. mobile user to experience advantages of mobile commerce and hence, if implemented, it has huge more-than-2-billion-mobile-users-in-the-world. potential to revolutionize the current trends. The fact [9] Mpayment Paper. that the approach is easy-to-use and has no dependence on mobile device, can make it as common er.pdf as a regular calling phone application. [10] Trintech. [11] Oxigen Group. Though many other alternatives are being developed and tested globally, this solution has an advantage over [12] NXP. other RFID, NFC or other related solutions as this can [13] Macalla Platform. prove to be useful when dealing with a remote user. Acknowledgement I thank my colleagues at Human Factors International, my friends and my family for their tremendous support. I also like to extend a special thank to those who took time to give feedback on the user testing of the concept. References Grosche, S.S., Knopse, H. Secure M-Commerce. [1] [2] Roussos, G., Kourouthanasis, P., Moussouri, T. Designing appliances for mobile commerce and retailtainment. [3] Tarasewich, P. Designing Mobile Commerce Applications. [4] Paulos, E., Vora, P., Joki, A., Burke, A. AnyPhone: Mobile Applications for Everyone. Baxley, B. Universal Model of a User Interface. [5] [6] Thomas, T. Seminar Report on Survey of Smartcard and Mobile Payments.