A new MVNO has launched in the UK, targeted exclusively at the African migrant community, claiming to be the first player to launch prepaid mobile credit transfer over SMS between the UK and Africa. The service effectively allows African callers to reverse charge calls to the UK.
Payment processor Visa has launched a mobile banking product to serve consumers in developing nations. The company said that its Prepaid Mobile offering will provide an open platform for existing mobile money systems.
Financial services provider Visa Europe has invested £24.7m in mobile payments platform Monitise, giving the latter a greater European presence. Monitise is also consolidating its position in the US by buying out its partner in its US operation.
Google’s mobile wallet venture has become a commercial reality, although it remains very much in its infancy. A trial was announced in May and, at present, the service is supported only by the Samsung Nexus S 4G (WiMAX) handset on the Sprint network in the US, although the retail side is supported by the MasterCard PayPass network
Google’s entry in the mobile phone hardware market with the acquisition of Motorola Mobility seems to be the outcome of the company’s desire to acquire the 17,000+ patents that Motorola holds and compete more effectively with Apple and other smartphone/OS vendors. The acquisition will however, not only have an impact on the handset market but possibly will also have a big impact on the mobile services market. In particular, this may help Google to accelerate the growth of the m-commerce market.
While mCommerce implementations are relatively new, successes such as Safaricom in Kenya, paybox in Austria, Compass Bank in the United States, mpass in Germany and others provide a solid set of lessons learned for mobile operators, enterprises and financial institutions.
It’s coming up to that time of year again readers, if it wasn’t for the News of the World scandal keeping the papers busy we’d all have to survive on a diet of the Beckhams’ latest offspring and volatile potato vodka. But it’s money that keeps the world going round and the subject of filthy lucre is still hot property in the mobile market.
Nick Ogden, CEO of Voice Commerce and Entrepreneur of the year 2010, talks about customer ownership, and the misconception by both carriers and banks that they both own the consumer.
US carrier Verizon is the latest to jump on the mobile payments bandwagon, announcing on Tuesday a partnership with mobile transaction firm Payfone to bring carrier billing to Verizon Wireless users.
It’s hard to escape the mobile money land grab at the moment. In the last few weeks I’ve written the word ‘m-wallet’ more than ever before in such a short time. But while the players involved say there’s enough pie to go around, it might not be to everyone’s taste.
The European Payments Council (EPC) has released draft guidelines governing the use of Near Field Communications (NFC) technology for mobile payments. The Council, which represents the European banking industry, has also called for stakeholder submissions on the subject, with the deadline for feedback on June 17th this year.
Big hitters like Apple, Google, Visa, the major carriers and vendors, financial institutions and the device manufacturers are making no bones about the fact that they see pay dirt in m-payments, m-commerce and mobile financial services in general.
Cover story: How the machine to machine market is taking shape
Backhaul: Keeping the traffic moving
Banking on NFC: MNOs look to retain their place in mobile financial services
Executive interview: Blyk and Aircel
France Telecom’s mobile unit, Orange, has integrated Microsoft’s flagship mobile OS with its own billing platform, allowing users of Windows Phone 7 devices to add the cost of content purchased to their mobile phone bill.
French carriers Orange, SFR and Bouygues have joined forces with IT services firm Atos Origin to form a new joint venture dedicated to exploring a mobile payments initiative.
Everything Everywhere, the parent company of T-Mobile UK and Orange UK, said Thursday it would roll out a commercial contactless mobile payment service by early summer.
The humble SMS will remain a significant source of revenues and traffic for mobile operators on a global basis until at least 2015, according to the latest forecasts from Informa Telecoms & Media. Global SMS revenues are forecast to rise to $136.9bn by 2015 from $105.5bn in 2010, as global SMS traffic increases from five trillion messages in 2010 to 8.7 trillion messages in 2015.
The chief of electronic payments and transactions at France Telecom’s Orange group has jumped ship, to head up the mobile unit at MasterCard Worldwide.
Japanese operator Softbank Mobile is set to trial contactless payment technology, having tapped up security firm Gemalto for the project.
Serbian mobile operator, Telenor, has become the first carrier in the country to enable its subscribers to use mobile phones to access their bank accounts and pay for goods and services. The operator is working with corporate and financial group, Erste Bank, and France’s largest retail banking group, Agricole to offer the services.