Case Study


Client: Első Mobilfizetés Elszámoló Zrt.

MFF system is a general mobile payment system, being unique in the world, which contributed to the rapid spreading of the new payment solution within our country significantly. The system is able to handle a complete payment process within one application in case of tasks following such diverse business logic as parking, ticket purchase or car wash.


Első Mobilfizetés Elszámoló Zrt., who is the market leader mobile payment company of our country and the strategic cooperative partner of our group of companies, left its mark on the inland market with mobile payment in public premises. After the project reached serious success on the international market as well, the staff of the company decided to introduce this well-working business model to other fields of the market. Our group of companies was called upon to solve its technical implementation, and that is how MFF came into being.


The Multifunctional Interface (hereinafter called MFF) is a software, developed according to unique requirements. Its primary function is the implementation of payment with mobile phones in case of any of the four mobile network operators (EME Zrt., Telenor, T-Mobile and Vodafone) of Hungary.

MFF plays a central role in mobile payment transactions. Thanks to its unique solutions, it can communicate simultaneously with the IT system of EME Zrt. (hereinafter called MOPA) as well as the unified system of the Hungarian operators (Telekom, Telenor, Vodafone), operated by Cellum Zrt. (hereinafter called CMPS).

The base of the system is a server running in a VMWare ESC virtual environment. The advantage of this is that it can be moved easily and quickly to another virtual environment, possibly running on a stronger hardware, within a very short time. The system was placed behind an advanced Cisco firewall-system, making the server and the software almost invisible for the external attacks. All the necessary ports and IP addresses are set one by one, manually, by the system administrator. The adjusted parameters are unique and are only used by the given function or interface. These settings also mean restriction, since every setting refers to a given internal or external IP address. In case of moving or transposition every connection must be verified.

The applied technologies as well as the software products running on the server use open source code.

Operating system: LINUX Debian Lenny (2.6.26-2-686 GNU/LINUX)
WEB server: APACHE 2.1
Database: MySQL 5.1
Programming language: PHP 5.2.6

The system was established for the transaction of SMS based purchases. We configured the SMSC channels with the operators one by one, through which the system can send and receive SMS messages. Solutions applied here differ in case of every operator. The three different SMSC connections use three different SMSC communication languages (Telekom: EMI, Telenor: HTTP, Vodafone: CMI2). Since the creation of communication interfaces would have taken a long time, we use an external solution for the management of SMSC connections: an open source code SMS gateway software running on LINUX system, called Kannel. The Kannel is able to manage many different SMSC connections simultaneously.

  • Main features:
  • easy configuration
  • knowledge of the diverse forms of SMSC communication
  • preparation of full range logs
  • quickly adjustable to web based applications
  • management of character code tables

When designing the system, the main aim was to have a modular structure and the main processes working separately from each other, though, working from one common database.

The following parameters were also important:
- full range logging
- operation without data loss
- project-oriented operation
- simple expandability

If an external partner would like to offer the possibility of mobile payment for purchasing his services, then this payment model is treated as a project in the system.

Projects in the system are important, since assigning telephone numbers and implementing business logic (BULO) is different in case of every project.

For the implementation of mobile payment it is necessary to debit the mobile account balance of the clients. Debiting the balance can happen in two ways. If the customer is an EME client, we debit through the MOPA system, and we debit through the CMPS system in every other case. The deposit account of the client is handled by the service supplier, the operators or EME in both cases. Charging the deposit account and invoicing is beyond the range of MFF.

It was necessary to create a communication protocol both on the MOPA and the MFF side for debiting the custumers’ deposit account. The interface is communicating with XML based, bound structural message forms. Communication is realized within the EME server room on LAN connection with TCP/IP connection through SSL encrypted channel under TLSV1. This form of SSL does not need the installation of a certificate on the client side.

In case of debiting the deposit account of a customer having a mobile account, we are sending WSDL based Soap calls to the CMPS system on encrypted HTTPS channel. WSDL is describing the public interface of the web service. This is an XML based service description about communication with the web service, namely, about protocol bonds and message formats, which are necessary for using the web service. Supported operations and messages are defined in this.


The central role of MFF is very important in mobile payment transactions from the point of view of external partners, customers and service suppliers as well. One of the most important elements of the system is the full range transaction logging. The incoming and outgoing messages, the parameters and messages of the communication with external partners, as well as every data of the financial transactions are stored. Every data which arrive, go through or get sent on every channel is stored.

EzeketThese data can be checked through a central software. Queries can be posed in a table form, organizing data into modules. There is also a possibility for setting filter criteria.

There is a separate interface available for external partners. In case of every single project web FrontEnd is created, which is implemented according to unique requirements. Here the list of financial transactions can be checked, which is stored in the system for the partner project. In case of web interfaces the IP address of the user is also registered in the system. In this way, people who want to cause or did cause a possible damage, can be easily looked up and banned.

Functional elements:

We divided the operation into four main elements. These four elements are resident separately, constantly running in the memory. These elements form the heart of the system.

SMS management

Its main task is to handle the incoming SMS messages. It determines which project does the SMS belong to, and if it is a new transaction or a response given on a question. Based on project identification it executes the first phase of the business process, and generates purchase. The system informs both the customer and the system administrator about the possible communicational or other kind of errors.

MOPA payment

It executes purchases of EME customers through the MOPA interface.

CMPS payment

It executes purchases of operator customers through the CMPS system.

Final event management

It informs the customer about the result of payment and terminates the transaction. During transactions all four modules prepare full range logging.

Based on these pieces of information it is obvious, that we are not talking about a common, simple system, and that is why it is important to have accurate, clear and fully evolved descriptions and requirements in case of every order.

Projects currently running through MFF:

Skidata és Signelit - indoor parking
Customers start purchase by sending the parking card number to the appropriate phone number. MFF acquires the parking information connecting to the Skidata system of Mom Park, and it requires debiting from the mobile network operators, based on the sum in the response and the phone number from which the purchasing process was started. (EME, Telenor, T-Mobile, Vodafone)
Automatic car wash
Customers start purchase by sending the worksheet number to the appropriate phone number. MFF acquires the information belonging to the transaction from the Carpark system, together with sum, and sends request to the given mobile network operator for debiting that sum. (EME, Vodafone)
Self-service car wash
Customers start purchase by sending the code indicated on the self-service car wash to the appropriate phone number. Based on the phone number, MFF sends request to the operators for charging a fix sum temporarily, and after reaching this fix amount or after the customer stops purchase, it asks for debiting the final amount. In case the fix sum and the final amount differ from each other, the difference gets released. (EME, Telenor, T-Mobile, Vodafone)
Courier service
In case of a mobile payment request the dispatcher of Mex courier service starts a request for mobile purchase on a given external interface. Customers get an SMS about this and after they verified it, MFF sends a deposit request to the mobile network operators, based on the sum entered on the external interface and the phone number of the customer. Within a set fix time the purchase amount will end up in a debiting request. In the event of cancelling the amount or overwriting it (it is only possible to enter lower amount than the deposited one) the deposited amount or, in case of entering lower amount, the difference will be released. (EME)
Purchasing concert tickets
Customers start purchase by sending the code of the given concert to the appropriate phone number. In case that specific ticket is free, based on the phone number, reservation of the ticket and request for depositing the price of the reserved seat ticket takes place. In case that specific ticket is sold out, customers are offered another type of ticket suitable for their requests. Customers get a transaction code or codes about their purchase, depending on the number of ordered tickets, presenting which they can pick up their tickets at the beginning of the concert. (EME)
Purchasing museum tickets
Customers send the code of the required exhibition and the available discounts to the appropriate phone number. Based on this, MFF acquires the price of the ticket from the museum, and reserves it at the same time. Based on the sum and the phone number, MFF sends request to the mobile network operators for debiting the sum. Customers get a transaction code, presenting which they can pick up their tickets at the entrance of the museum.
Minute based festival ticket
Customers send the code of the given festival ticket to the appropriate phone number. Based on the phone number, MFF sends request to the mobile network operators for debiting the price of the festival ticket, and sends a transaction code to the phone number of the customer, which is required for their entry. As soon as the customers enter the festival (presenting their transaction codes), minute based billing starts with the help of a given interface. When customers leave the festival, a hostess helps them exiting on the same interface, closing their minute based billing. Based on the prices and minutes, MFF asks the operators to debit the final amount, or in case the customer did not enter the festival or there is a difference between the temporarily charged and the final sum, it asks for releasing the remains.
Outdoor parking
Using mobile payment, surface parking becomes much simpler, more convenient and more economic, since customers only pay as much as they are actually parking. Customers start and end the parking process from their phones. Based on the customer’s phone number, MFF sends a request for deposit to the service supplier at the start of the parking process. At the end of parking, based on the zone and the length of parking, it acquires the final sum from the parking lot business, and asks for the final debiting or releasing the customer’s account.
Projects implementable through MFF
- possibility of purchasing highway tickets with mobiles, for residents and foreigners as well
- paying price of admission with mobile phones to baths / spas / beaches
- purchasing mobile tickets to amusement parks / theaters / cinemas / zoos
- paying with mobile phones in shops / stores
- purchasing public transport tickets with mobile phones, even at the moment of getting on a vehicle
Diagram of MFF connections
Smiley face

Most of the above mentioned projects could also be implemented by applying NFC or QR codes.

MFF is prepared on code level for either NFC or QR code based payment processes as well, for which we are shortly about to introduce our own private label hardware products to the market.

Year of implementation 2011