Belgium rolls out payment by SMS service

Belgium's three mobile phone operators said that their customers could now make payments from anywhere, even if the check is lost in the mail, according to an Associated Press report.

The Associated Press report said payment card operator Banksys and telecoms companies Base, Mobistar and Proximus said their system was the first time their own secure payment software, called m-banxafe, was put into use.

Customers receive an invoice by text message and confirm the payment using a secret code, the report said.

To use the system, they need to have SIM card that will support the payment software and a Belgian bank account, the report added.

The companies said it was good facility for people who do not have cash on hand and cannot get to an AT, the report said.

Customers are charged 25 euro cents ($0.33) for the service, including sales tax, while merchants have a heavier fee of 49 ($0.65), excluding value added tax, the report further said.