Posts Tagged ‘ mobile payment ’

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.

Belgacom introduces mobile payment service Ping.Ping

Last week, Belgacom announced they’re taking a 40% share in Tunz, a Belgian company specialized in micropayments.

This week, the telecom giant said they are starting up a mobile payment service called Ping.Ping, which should allow to pay with your mobile phone for small amounts, such as a can in a vending machine or a drink in a bar.
Belgacom has made a large range of partnerships for this service.  One of them is with Accor Services, responsible for the food checks.  Goal is to digitize the food checks and put the value on a digital account. In a first trial, 500 Belgacom employees will be able to spend this digital money in horeca establishments in the neighborhood of Belgacom’s headquarters in Brussels.

There’s also a partnership with Coca-Cola, testing out the micropayment for vending machines.  Another trial will be with supermarket Delhaize.
To allow a ‘contact-less’ payment, the NFC technology will be used.  If the trials are successful, Delhaize wants to introduce customer identification by the mobile phone instead of the Delhaize Plus card. 

Ping.Ping is supposed to become a group name for all these different mobile payment services.  The already existing SMS parking and SMS bus ticketing – services from Mobile-for which was acquired by Belgacom – would also fall under this umbrella.  Belgacom promises several more applications in the coming weeks and months, including vouchers, reduction coupons, payments on campus and person-to-person payments. 


Next year mobile payment for train tickets?

The Belgian railways (NMBS/SNCB) has been talking about SMS ticketing for a while already. 
Recently, Minister of Public Companies Steven Vanackere stated that there’s currently no project regarding mobile payments.  But now Philippe Tomberg , publicist for NMBS, carefully said that the company is studying different channels to digitize the train ticket.  The possibility to offer mobile ticketing on a mid-long term (say, a year from now) “can not excluded”. 

Still pretty vague, but a step in the right direction…

French retailers test mobile wallet

Several French retail stores are testing the possibility of introducing payments by mobile phone.  These stores include Auchan, Carrefour, Fnac and Kinepolis, among others.  In a first phase, running till the spring of 2009, several possible ideas are considered during brains tormings and test ateliers.  Next up will be the transfer into technical applications and experimenting. 
The stores are not only thinking of using the mobile phone for handling payments, but also for fidelity credits, coupons and other transactions.  Basically everything should run through the mobile phone because the SIM card will contain everything that we now carry in our wallet.  This way, the mobile will be the central element in the client relationship. 

More at JournalDuNet

25% of Belgians gives GSM number to advertisers

A quarter of Belgian consumers is willing to give their mobile phone number to advertisers. That remarkable result comes from a study by MediaEdge, who questioned 1.000 Belgian people.

Extrapolating to the Belgian population, that’s about 1,64 million people. Among the 15 to 24 year olds, it’s over 35% that is interested. Dutch speaking are more reluctant to give their number than their French speaking neighbours.

The study however is not just talking about giving your mobile number in exchange for pure advertising messages. The most popular application is the possibility to make bank transactions. About 12% of the people questioned is interested in that.
That is good news for mobile payment providers such as Atos Worldline (with their m-banxafe platform) and So far, these systems are still waiting for the hoped for success, but they struggle with the problem that not enough merchants are accepting these mobile payment possibilities.

About 7% is willing to receive advertising messages. SMS Coupons are a bit more popular: 9,6%.
Especially young people are interested in reading advertising messages, if they get free call credit or free sms messages in return. This model is already used by Blyk and Pumbby.

MediaEdge concludes that the study proves that the potential of mobile marketing and mobile advertising is bigger than expected.

Mobile payment: with chip or by sms

Pay by mobile chipEarlier this month, European mobile operators (represented by the GSM Association) and European banks (represented by the European Payments Council) have reached an agreement to collaborate on mobile payments.  Together they want to look for an easy way to link a mobile phone to a bank account. 

Mobile payments would be made possible with Near Field Communication (NFC) technology, which means the mobile phone has an integrated NFC-chip which can be scanned to make a payment.
The collaboration is an effort to create a standard for mobile payments, which now knows many different technologies and services.  But first banks and operators have to come to an agreement on the financing of NFC-networks.  Second obstacle is that all consumers need a mobile phone with the NFC-chip.

Personally, I don’t think a hardware solution should be used for mobile payments.  Of all current mobile payment solutions, SMS payment still seems the easiest and most effective one.  Mostly because sending SMS messages is so easy, common and popular.  Everyone can do it and everyone does.

So I’d rather encourage initiatives like the one of Rabobank, who introduced their service

With this service, everyone can open a mobile wallet which can be credited with a certain amount of money.  To make a SMS payment, you just send a SMS to the shortcode 6689, including the mobile phone number of the recipient, the amount you wish to transfer and a description.  The recipient can use the transferred money to create his own mobile wallet or he can transfer it to his own bank account (though a fee is asked here).

The recipient can be a web shop but also an other individual.  And Rabobank especially wants to target the latter.  A practical exemple are friends in a bar: one of them pays the bill and instead of having to count their coins, the others can pay him back by SMS.  This way, the need to have enough cash in your pocket disappears.  So maybe we can finally get rid of those annoying bronze eurocents…

High cost slows down SMS payment

Belgian consumers are still sceptic about mobile payment. 
According to Atos Worldline this is because merchants are not promoting the technology enough. 
More merchants should accept this payment method and should announce this to their customers.  But for this, the cost for the merchants should be lowered. A SMS payment can cost up to 60 cent, while the merchant only pays 6 cent for a Bancontact/MisterCash payment.   For the moment, payment by SMS is used for specific cases, such as home delivery.