Will we soon pay everything with our mobile phone?

The past few months it has been raining press announcements regarding the launch of new payment services via the mobile phone. Tunz.com, Banxafe, MPAY, … they are just a few of the new possibilities that are offered in Belgium. Is the consumer still following with all these technological attacks?

A lot of renewal regarding mobile payment systems
The market of mobile payment is very promising and attracts new providers. The founders of Keytrade Bank and Skynet recently launched their new service Tunz.com. Through this platform users can execute payments among each other via simple sms messages. The system uses a central virtual wallet on which a maximum of 150 EUR can be placed. The system is strongly inspired by the success of Paypal, the peer-to-peer payment system on the Internet. The latter has recently introduced a mobile version and wants to get his share of this market.
A few days after the press release of Tunz.com, Banksys presented his new Banxafe system. This system connects the mobile phone number to a bank account. With the exchange of 3 SMS messages and a pincode, a payment can be made with this as well. m-Banxafe is positioned for payments between 6 and 200 EUR on places where a payment by card is difficult: for example home delivery, plumbers, electricians, taxi drivers, … Arrivero and Collivery of Colruyt have already activated this system.
The mobile operators don’t sit still wit hall these evolutions. Last year, Proximus has introduced the new MPAY system for payments on the mobile internet. This system allows payments up to 10 EUR.

The consumer wants reliability and user friendliness
Is the consumer actually waiting for all these technological attacks? Almost everyone has a mobile phone these days and many people experience it as a valuable and indispensable instrument. When they forget their mobile phone at home, about half of the people will return home to pick it up. For small payments the mobile phone can thus be the perfectly positioned instrument.
For small payments, the consumer expects reliability, security and user friendliness. Mostly for the last aspect, many technological inventions have failed over the past few years. The little successful acceptation of Proton is a good example for this. For new providers such as Tunz.com, the reputation of the reliability additionally will have to be build up.

The merchant chooses low cost
To successfully introduce a payment system on a large scale, it is important to connect sufficient merchants on the platform. In the first place an important evangelisation will have to happen to convince merchants of the advantages of the new technologies. These payment systems will also have to prove their cost efficiency. Merchants are very sensitive for the costs, especially regarding the processing of small payments. A cost of only a few percentages is usually already an obstacle for the use of a new technology. It is mostly this barrier that is faced by existing systems of mobile micro payments such as Premium SMS.

Mobile payment solutions

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