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
Windows 10's Edge browser could need more than its home-field advantage to win users http://t.co/t4mfUd2kXz
Follow CCS Insight
Shaun Collins
RT @paolopescatore: BT 1Q 2015/16 results: Rev £4,278m (down 2%); £48m negative FX impact. Adjusted EBITDA £1,449m (up 1%). EPS of 6.7p (up…
Follow Shaun
Ben Wood
Holy crap! I appreciate the value of Top Gear but quarter of a billion!?! https://t.co/fMMdyibv0Y
Follow Ben
Martin Garner
#Windows10 launch party in London - demos from Raspberry Pi to Surface Hub. http://t.co/ZE5XbxlFaR
Follow Martin
Geoff Blaber
RT @oneplus: The #HYPE is real! Over 1,000,000 fans have reserved their #OnePlus2, in just 72 hours. http://t.co/7CBjiXrOgp http://t.co/tYA…
Follow Geoff
Nicholas McQuire
RT @CCSInsight: Money for Mobi will boost awareness of global managed mobility services, says @nickmcquire http://t.co/PoZXyXBlJB
Follow Nicholas
Arnaud Gagneux
RT @saritakAR: 4,800 Internet connected devices being added per min in 2015; @IDC forecasts 7,900 per min in 2020 @vernonxt #IoT http://t.c…
Follow Arnaud
Paolo Pescatore
BT Sport poised to be the home of Euro football in the UK should it secure @LaLiga rights. Taking the fight to @SkySports #BTSportEurope
Follow Paolo
Marina Koytcheva
AR/VR device market to top $4bn in 2018. Check out @CCSInsight's new forecast: http://t.co/TgWX9M8FNM http://t.co/S4h6J9j9Za
Follow Marina
Kester Mann
Encouraging results for Telefonica as revenue in home market stabilises in May and June - the first time since Dec 2009.
Follow Kester
Jasdeep Badyal
So 3 new handsets at #motolaunch. Underlines Lenovo's intent of using the Moto brand to target Samsung + others, esp. in developed markets.
Follow Jasdeep
George Jijiashvili
RT @CCSInsight: Nokia's Ozo hopes to inspire must-see VR content http://t.co/0DYZo6oYnD
Follow George
Rebecca Morley
RT @katietails: @HuaweiDevice Thanks so much - this is fab! :)
Follow Rebecca

Recent Blog Posts

Blog Post
Fox and the Hound Browser Power Battle Resurfaces Almost 20 years ago to th... Read more
Blog Post
Nokia Makes a 360 The Company Enters the Virtual Reality Camera Market At a... Read more
Blog Post
Another Big Plus Will the OnePlus 2 Alter an Industry? Chinese smartphone ... Read more
More blog

Latest Company News

Blog Post
Augmented and Virtual Reality Devices to Become a $4 Billion-Plus Business in Three Years CCS Insight Releases First Forecast of These Rising Technolo... Read more
More news