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
Qualcomm ups the ante with its Snapdragon X16 LTE modem. @geoffblaber considers the flagship silicon's influence https://t.co/SKN6K9Pjip
Follow CCS Insight
Shaun Collins
Very large space, more stuff, more consultation. Genuinely interesting retail trial from @O2. Inspired by Apple? https://t.co/l3mqIE1Vzh
Follow Shaun
Ben Wood
Excited to one of first to try Nextbit Robin. Certainly stands out from the crowd in a sea of smartphone sameness. https://t.co/VBWmDIXKSU
Follow Ben
Martin Garner
Happy Birthday! @Facebook, 12 years old today.
Follow Martin
Geoff Blaber
We predicted Firefox would pivot Firefox OS to IoT 2 years ago. Arguably an even bigger challenge than smartphones https://t.co/rSLQBYbRJg
Follow Geoff
Nicholas McQuire
Samsung is changing fleet mobility> Ford integrating wearables in assembly lines by putting phones on workers wrists https://t.co/IiEZ2HMPaY
Follow Nicholas
Paolo Pescatore
Big game on #BTSportEurope tonight. Top of the #SerieA table clash #JuveNapoli @SerieA_TIM https://t.co/HZ6RTCQOmQ
Follow Paolo
Marina Koytcheva
RT @CCSInsight: CCS Insight Predictions for 2017 and Beyond. 16 Nov 2016. Early bird tickets now on sale https://t.co/8gd800fxvT https://t.…
Follow Marina
Kester Mann
EE hits year-end 4G customer target with over 14 million subs at Dec 15. Still the leading Euro 4G operator.
Follow Kester
Jasdeep Badyal
RT @benwood: Excited to one of first to try Nextbit Robin. Certainly stands out from the crowd in a sea of smartphone sameness. https://t.c…
Follow Jasdeep
George Jijiashvili
RT @paolopescatore: #VR gaining strong momentum among pay TV providers & broadcasters #WearableTech @benwood @George_CCS https://t.co/LW7m…
Follow George
Rebecca Morley
RT @benwood: Good to @CCSInsight team featured prominently in Top 5 Themes for MWC16 show daily preview https://t.co/Beo7BTN3Nh https://t.c…
Follow Rebecca
Katie Taylor
RT @guardianscience: A sigh's not just a sigh - it's a fundamental life-sustaining reflex https://t.co/Bgf0gvZcyU
Follow Katie

Recent Blog Posts

Blog Post
Laying the Foundations for 5G Qualcomm Ups the Connectivity Ante with Its Gigabit-Class S... Read more
Blog Post
Why Smartwatches Still Don't Cut It Is Bluetooth the Weak Link? CCS Insight has amassed an i... Read more
Blog Post
Africa Gains Its First Unicorn AIG Is Developing Internet Businesses Across Africa This... Read more
More blog