01Sep2010

Advance Equity Holding JSC: Market Launch of the Mobile Payments in Bulgaria

SEP Bulgaria JSC successfully completed the pilot stage of its project for electronic payment services

Mobile payments are readily available in Bulgaria since the beginning of September, when the electronic payments system of SEP Bulgaria JSC was launched for a market start. The licensed payment operator SEP Bulgaria together with its partners – the mobile telecom Globul, Postbank JSC, Allianz Bank Bulgaria JSC, and several leading local chains of stores – have made it possible the usage of the mobile phone as an universal electronic payments tool.

SEP Bulgaria JSC is a subsidiary of the private equity fund Advance Equity Holding JSC, managed by Karoll Finance.

Payments via mobile phones have been initiated in the country in October 2009. For almost one year the employees of SEP Bulgaria and its partners have tested actively the range of electronic payment services and the functionality of the system. “We fulfilled the objective of the pilot stage – to convince ourselves that the mobile payments really work and are being conducted in a secure environment. Alongside the testing of the system during the months of the pilot we started collaborations with new technological partners and merchants, among which the supermarket chain Piccadily, the chain of fast-food restaurants KFC, the “do-it-yourself” chain of stores Praktis, the technological company ElTrade, and others. We want to thank all of them for being the pioneers in the offering of the convenient mobile payments to the Bulgarian consumers”, highlighted the results of the pilot stage Mr.Ventseslav Petrov, CEO and Chairman of the Board of Directors of SEP Bulgaria JSC.

Since early September, the clients of SEP Bulgaria will be able to use the following set of services:

“Mobile banking” – electronic banking service for management of private bank accounts and payment ordering from mobile phones to bank accounts everywhere in the country and at all times;

“Mobile payment in physical stores and on-line shops” – a state-of-the-art method of payments which brings convenience for the clients, speed of the transaction, and guaranteed maximum security through the electronic signature MobiSafe;

“Electronic Purse” – mobile payment of small size bills of up to BGN 20 in physical stores with electronic chip using the Touch-and-Go technological standard.

To make mobile payment orders the clients need to replace their old SIM-cards with new upgraded ones at any office of the mobile telecom Globul. The new SIM-card has the same phone number as the old one but is upgraded with the software application “Mobile wallet”. After replacing their SIM-cards, clients need to register for the “Mobile banking” service at any office of a bank which is a partner of SEP Bulgaria.

The mobile payment services will be available initially in the big cities through the branches of Globul, as well as Postbank, and Allianz Bank Bulgaria. Plans are for a country-wide coverage of the mobile payments within the next couple of months. SEP Bulgaria’s system enables payments to bank accounts in all banks, irrespectively of whether they are currently partners of the project or not.

“If I have to describe the mobile payments in few words, these would be security for your money based on the electronic signature encrypting, convenience to have access to your bank account from everywhere and everytime, simplicity for everyone, because the services are compatible with every model of mobile phone, and do not require any technical upgrade to it”, explained Mr. Petrov.

The electronic platform of SEP Bulgaria is open for all banks, mobile operators, commercial chains, and technological companies which are willing to offer their clients with modern and convenient way for electronic payments using the standard mobile phones.

For more information in Bulgarian language: sepbulgaria.com

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