SIM Toolkit is an ETSI/SMG standard for Value Added Services and e-commerce using GSM phones to do the transactions.
The SAT technology has already proved its value in the field to deliver churn-reducing value added services. Existing services are educating users to expect more from their mobile phones. SAT is delivering secure, flexible, user-friendly value added services on existing networks and handsets. SAT will continue to be a predominant VAS (Value Added Service) technology for mobile services over the next few years.
You will be able to check your bank account and pay bills using your SIM Toolkit-enabled phone with an appropriate SIM Toolkit-specific SIM card which will provide much of the intelligence to conclude a transaction over GSM.
How does it work?
SIM Toolkit programmed into the special GSM SIM card essentially enables the SIM card to drive the GSM handset interface, build up an interactive exchange between a network application and the end
user and access or control access to the network. For the first time the SIM card has a proactive role in the handset. This means that the SIM initiates commands independently of the handset and the network.
The SIM Toolkit Standard
Smart Card developers like Gemplus have contributed over the years to the evolution of the ETSI standards for SIM cards. SIM Toolkit is the result of the SMG9’s work on the role of the smart card in the mobile handset. In 1995, the first ideas and draft documents were specified, resulting in 1996 with the standardization of SIM application Toolkit as an ETSI (European Telecommunications Standard Institute) standard: GSM 11.14.
Since then, real life services have been launched with telecom operators:
The first SIM Toolkit application was the Cellnet/Barclaycard remote banking service launched in May ’97 on GemXplore SIM cards. In 1997, the Telia/PostGirot remote payment service was also launched on GemXplore SIM cards, and in June ’98 SmarTone Hong Kong launched the first Asian SIM Toolkit information service on GemXplore cards.
The concept is to use the mobile phone to pay for electricity bills.
In Sweden, Telia – Sweden’s no. 1 Telecom Operator – and Postgirot Bank, a subsidiary of Sweden Post with 1.7 million customers, the leading payment intermediary in the Swedish payment market launched their MobilSmart application in September 1997.
Thanks to SIM Toolkit, the customer is assisted throughout the transaction in paying electricity bills.
Here’s how it works in Sweden….
A specific PIN code must be entered in the GSM phone to start the application
The user then enters the Postgirot account number, the date and the amount payable.
The SIM will then package this information into a Short Message Service (SMS)
The user can add a comment to recognize the payment in a future statement.
The card then automatically calculates an electronic signature with a dedicated algorithm.
This SMS is sent to Telia’s Short Message Service Center (SMSC) and processed by Postgirot’s SmartSec system
Once it has been processed, SmartSec returns an acknowledgement to the user to confirm payment
The following standards are the most commonly used to develop SIM Toolkit applications.
The GSM 11.14 standard has evolved with the rest of the GSM standards. Each year, the ETSI issues different releases of the Phase 2+ standard. Each release corresponds to the SIM phases:
Release 96: Phase 2+ V5
Release 97: Phase 2+ V6