Archive for the ‘ mobile payment ’ Category

Mobile app to facilitate SMS Parking

Mobile-for, the Belgacom affiliate responsible for the SMS parking services in several Belgian cities, has launched a mobile application to facilitate this service.  The app, which can be tested in Leuven as from October 2009, can be downloaded on all Google Android enabled smartphones (which kinda limits the testing audience…)  In the coming months however, the app should be available for other smartphones, such as iPhone and Blackberry.

With the app, the user doesn’t have to sms his licence plate any longer.  He also knows the remaining parking time at all time.  The next release will also give GPS coordinates for the nearest parking automat and the occupancy status of parkings in the neighbourhood.

Early 2010, they will start a pilot project to pay your parking ticket through Ping.Ping’s NFC (Nearest Field Communication) technology.

sms-parking-leuven

Nokia announces mobile payment service Nokia Money

Nokia has announced a new mobile payment service, under the name Nokia Money
The service is targeted mainly at countries with a limited bank infrastructure. Argumenting that there are 4 billion mobile phones worldwide, compared to only 1,6 billion bank accounts, Nokia considers the mobile phone as the perfect device to facilitate a payment or a money transfer. 

Nokia will be using the tchnology of Obopay, a company they acquired recently.   To use the Nokia Money service, one must have an Obopay account on which money has been transferred.

The service will be available in certain markets early 2010.

Belgacom and Alcatel-Lucent collaborate on mobile payments

Belgacom and Alcatel-Lucent are going to collaborate on a new business model for mobile payments via PingPing and the contactless services of Touchatag.   PingPing has recently been launched by Belgacom for mobile payment services, while Alcatel-Lucent developped Touchatag to offer Near Field Technology (NFC) technology.   The goal is to develop new applications for mobile payments.  Before the fall of this year, they hope to finish a system allowing a contactless card or a NFC-enabled mobile phone to give access to a large range of services.

Church group collects charity by SMS

In the past, we’ve seen good and bad examples of the relationship between the Church and SMS.
Here’s another good one from The Netherlands.

The group Kerk in Actie (Church in Action; part of the Protestant Church) is collecting charity money by SMS.  Since last week, a radio commercial urges people to send a premium SMS message with the text ‘Noodhulp’ to the shortcode number 4333, which costs 1,50 euro per message.  The revenue will be used to help victims of the civil war in Sri Lanka, more specifically for food, drinkable water and housing in the area.

church-charity-sms

Belgian elections: still no mobile marketing, no social media

I blogged several times on the successful use of mobile marketing in Obama’s election campaign.  In fact, it’s been praised as a great example of the possibilities of mobile marketing on many international sites and blogs.

One would think many would follow his example, right?  After all, Obama proved the many advantages of using SMS and Mobile Internet in a campaign: it’s fast, you reach a lot of people, you prove to be into modern technology, and it’s a great way to build in interactivity and people involvement.

So instead of sticking to those lame (and expensive!) billboards in people’s gardens, Belgian politicians and parties have had developped their own mobile site with their political program and the latest news.  They have offered SMS alerts to remind voters what they stand for.  They have held collects by SMS payment to fund their campaign among party members.

At least, that’s just some of the things they COULD have done.  But we have seen none of that appear.  The cliché of the Belgian who sticks to the old, to what he knows, has once again been confirmed by our very own political figures.  Instead of showing their progressive side, stimulating innovation in Belgian business, they’ve chosen to play it safe.

No social media were used either.  Several international examples have recently adopted social networks such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube with big success.  Apart from some local initiatives and Facebook fan groups, we’ve seen nothing of that either in the Belgian election campaigns.

Better luck next time?

PS: I forgot to mention one of the exceptions: CAP (Comité pour une Autre Politique) uses a SMS Payment service to fund their election campaign. Big thumbs up to them!

SMS Parking: Schaarbeek in, Gent out

Paying your parking ticket by SMS; it’s one of the most successful examples of SMS payment in Belgium.
Especially in Antwerp, where it was first introduced, it’s been a success.

Ghent followed soon after, but the service there has now stopped, after experiencing technical problems since February.   NCS Crandy, the company behind the service in Ghent, has given up and has removed all stickers from parking automats.  Apparently, the service hasn’t been available since March 17 already.  The complicated system caused the service to be a lot less successful than in other cities.

But good news: Schaarbeek is now the first community in the Brussels area to start offering the SMS parking service.   Proximus clients will be charged for their parking ticket directly on their mobile invoice or deducted from their call credit.  Mobistar and Base subscribers will receive a separate invoice.

Among other cities that offer parking by SMS are Hasselt, Bruges and Tienen.
Many other cities are introducing the service in the coming months, such as Leuven (May) and Heusden-Zolder (July).

parking

Visa launches mobile payment system

Two weeks ago, we reported that Belgacom’s new service Ping.Ping will be using the Near Field Communication (NFC) technology to allow contact-less payments.

Today, Visa has launched a mobile payment service, using NFC-technology as well.  This NFC project, that first will be tested in Malaysia, “will be a turning point for the payment industry”, according to Elizabeth Buse, head of product at Visa.   For the realisation, they collaborated with the Maybank Bank, with Maxis, Malaysia’s largest telecom operator, and with Nokia.  The latter hopes to sell some 3000 Nokia 6214 NFC-enabled devices in a month time.  
Purpose of the NFC-technology is to allow a mobile payment by just waving the mobile phone over a reader terminal.