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
RT @benwood: The @CCSInsight stand at Mobile News #Wearables event in London. Huge collection of wearable tech! Exciting day ahead http://t…
Follow CCS Insight
Shaun Collins
Was Apple SIM actually the biggest announcement from Apple last night? Cracking blog by @benwood http://t.co/OLzSDT9bir
Follow Shaun
Martin Garner
IoT: @ZigbeeAlliance files complaint against Wulian, China for misrepresenting itself as the Zigbee Alliance in China.
Follow Martin
Geoff Blaber
Global Foundries looking set to acquire IBM's chip manufacturing operation. A long time coming.. http://t.co/K0kj5uYyuW
Follow Geoff
Nicholas McQuire
With #symantec today at their EMEA partner symposium London. Spending time w @SYMCmobility on priorities in 14/15 in light of firm's split
Follow Nicholas
Arnaud Gagneux
RT @contextworld: Tablet sales revenues collapse across European Distribution in Q3 #ctxtdb
Follow Arnaud
Paolo Pescatore
This week I'll be covering the following quarterly results @Verizon @EE @ATT @orange @comcast. Watch out for our instant insights
Follow Paolo
Kester Mann
RT @CCSInsight: Places for @CCSInsight Predictions Event on 19 Nov are filling up! To register, please go to http://t.co/nLdnVaDU8I #ccspre
Follow Kester
Jasdeep Badyal
RT @benwood: Exploded camera lens graphics standard part of any flagship launch these days. Nokia pioneered it - how times change http://t.…
Follow Jasdeep

Recent Blog Posts

Blog Post
Rush Hour OnePlus to Make Itself a Little Less Scarce OnePlus One o... Read more
Blog Post
Biometrics Are in the Cards Payment Cards Are Morphing into Tiny Computers It's an am... Read more
Blog Post
The Real Story behind the Apple SIM Apple's Nano Extra in Cellular iPads Is a Significant But Sm... Read more
More blog

Latest Company News

More news