BlackBerry Tries Money Messaging with BBM Money

Pilot in Indonesia Will Be Popular, But BlackBerry Must Consider Next Step


Last week the commercial pilot of BlackBerry's BBM Money launched in Indonesia. The service allows BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) users to make person-to-person payments in a similar way to the M-Pesa service in Kenya. Users can open BBM, select a BBM contact and transfer money to them in real time.

I hadn't initially expected BlackBerry to enter mobile payments. Handset manufacturers are not known to deploy their own independent mobile payment services. Only Nokia has tried, and its Nokia Money service lasted for about two years before closing down. (Although it's worth pointing out that this was more a result of Nokia's overall changing strategy in mobile rather than a failure of the service.)

Today handset manufacturers that are working in mobile payments are usually collaborating with other companies to provide the rest of the hardware for transactions. Most recent examples include Samsung, which worked with Visa to enable payments on Galaxy S III models at the London Olympics 2012.

bbm_money_logosCloser examination reveals that BlackBerry has actually taken a similar approach for BBM Money. The service stems from collaboration between PermataBank in Indonesia and UK technology company Monitise. BBM is essentially being used as a portal to facilitate digital payment transactions.

BBM Money could do quite well in Indonesia, but I think there are a couple of reasons why BlackBerry needs to treat any success with caution. Firstly, BlackBerry enjoys immense popularity in Indonesia, accounting for more than half the smartphone market. So customer response is not likely to be representative of the global market.

Secondly, mobile payment services are generally quite popular in emerging markets because of a lack of banking infrastructure. Users in Indonesia will be more willing — or have more need — to try such services.

Looking beyond Indonesia, I'm not sure whether BBM Money in its current form would fare as well in other countries. Services like mobile payments really need scale to lift off, but BBM Money is restricted to BlackBerry handsets. Indonesia may be a booming market for BlackBerry, but this isn't the case in Europe and the US, for example.

From my own experience of using BBM to message friends and relatives in different countries, I think the next step for BBM Money is to focus on cross-border mobile payment services. Of course, international mobile payments face considerable legal and regulatory challenges. Perhaps a partnership with an international payments company like Western Union would work.

Just as BBM provided a great new messaging application exclusive to BlackBerry users across the globe, I think BBM Money has the potential to also offer a truly innovative service.

This entry was posted on February 21st, 2013 and is filed under Services. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

Posted By Digantam Gurung On February 21st, 2013


Comments
(There are no comments yet)
Leave a Comment

Hot News

Team Tweets

CCS Insight
The #Krack attack that puts billions of devices at risk highlights a flaw in the creation of the Wi-Fi standard: https://t.co/3RbiAW7Th2
Follow CCS Insight
Shaun Collins
Congratulations @AnthonyVollmer. https://t.co/uBYiXwLAwF
Follow Shaun
Ben Wood
Most memorable preso at Qualcomm 4G/5G event was @BT / @EE’s dancing MD (IT & Mobile), Fotis Karonis. Bullish goal… https://t.co/WT45rxO61S
Follow Ben
Martin Garner
#IoT This is interesting: Apple partnership with GE for Predix. https://t.co/gyCCtjGitR. But an SDK per IoT platfor… https://t.co/JMy3vALaIs
Follow Martin
Geoff Blaber
Samsung partnering with Google on ARCore makes sense. Samsung changing though - 3 yrs ago it would have sought to d… https://t.co/oKgDrjPQV0
Follow Geoff
Marina Koytcheva
5G subscriptions will reach 1 billion in 2023. Our new 5G forecast for the ambitiously long period of 2018-2025:… https://t.co/lykFFxl8Sr
Follow Marina
Nicholas McQuire
Sorry to hear MobileIron's @bmainz has left. EMM is rapidly reshaping. Tough out there for a specialist, public firm https://t.co/tWiEj06djI
Follow Nicholas
Paolo Pescatore
Spoilt for choice, what a line up; @ChampionsLeague goals show or #CHEROM live in #UHD #4K & #DolbyAtmos on BT Spor… https://t.co/5uqH3KbuGx
Follow Paolo
Kester Mann
Voda UK to launch novel PAYG concept. Spend limited to £1/day, but unlimited voice/SMS and 500MB of data thereafter. Aim to mitigate worry.
Follow Kester
George Jijiashvili
Hands on with the new Ricoh Theta V! 4K video is the highlight of the V - I'm hoping to see an improvement in the p… https://t.co/kd0vGEXHBd
Follow George
Laura Simeonova
RT @benwood: Big news from Samsung overnight. Despite strong profits CEO resigns. Cites concerns over future challenges. https://t.co/bqI1…
Follow Laura
Katie Taylor
RT @TheBMA: Two junior doctors were left looking after more than 400 patients during very unsafe shift at stretched hospital https://t.co/q…
Follow Katie

Recent Blog Posts

Blog Post
The Wi-Fi Krack Security Vulnerability Highlights a Flaw in the Standard's C... Read more
Blog Post
Game On in Smartphone Market Will There Be Demand for Razer's Gaming Smartphone? Razer, ... Read more
Blog Post
Google Touts Gigabit LTE Advantage Aims to Enhance Android Experience on High-Tier Phones It's... Read more
More blog

Latest Company News

Blog Post
CCS Insight Predicts 1 Billion Users of 5G by 2023, with More Than Half in China 5G to take off faster than any previous mobile technology ... Read more
More news