February 26, 2004 (STAR) A Filipino company is strengthening the country’s reputation as a hub for excellent and pioneering wireless applications. But it is also sparking the next revolution – mobile commerce or "m-commerce."

When Manila-based PaySetter International’s peer-to-peer (P2P) reloading application, adopted by Globe Telecom and creatively dubbed "Share-A-Load," was released, implications of how the service can transform the way people transact commerce immediately became clear.

Launched last month, the application enabled subscribers of Globe Telecom to send each other (prepaid to prepaid, postpaid to prepaid) load credits in denominations ranging from P5 to P500. A transfer is made by simply typing the amount and sending it as a text message to the intended recipient’s phone number, preceded by "2." Example. 29179000005.

For subsequent load transfers, texting a PIN together with the amount protects one against unauthorized loading. Simple enough.

But the profound implication is that the same platform enables the fastest, safest and most flexible medium for true m-commerce with call credits or "load" acting as a natural currency. With friends "share-a-loading" among friends, and parents rationing load credits to their children, load bartering for small goods is now a reality.

The application has been described as revolutionary, and in the most basic sense, a new way of doing something, and with a utility that is also universal.

Company sources say PaySetter is now girding for an international rollout of this application, with Asian and European carriers which have seen the platform’s applicability to their markets.

The application, a world first, employs processes patented by Filipino wireless application developers.

One of these patents has to do with suffixing SMS short codes, a process which can make SMS very interactive and which allows unique SMS transactions to be tracked.

A second process is also the subject of global patents already filed by Filipinos and currently licensed to Globe Telecom – the use of numeric keywords (example "5") to determine a corresponding tariff to be charged the subscriber (in this case, the P5 load he is crediting someone else, plus the one-peso transaction cost).

The processes combined for the most intuitive peer-to-peer reloading application set to be a case study at the next GSM World Congress.

PaySetter International Inc. was founded in 2001 precisely for the development of wireless payment applications. The company was the first to allow the secure coupling of GSM subscriber accounts to user-specified accounts like prepaid cards, checking and savings accounts, ATMs and credit cards.

PaySetter has enabled money transmission via SMS, bills payment for goods and services from GSM handsets, remote reloading on the mobile phone, cross-border remittance transfers and even donations through text messaging.

PaySetter partners with local and international financial institutions, ATM networks, wireless carriers and other micro-communities (e.g. universities, convenience stores, prepaid outlets) for the rollout of PaySetter products and services.

Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi

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