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
Google rolls out "India first" products in a bid to attract more of the 800 million Indians not yet online https://t.co/vJET4qWCV1
Follow CCS Insight
Shaun Collins
RT @BBCSport: Gotta go, there's something in our eye
Follow Shaun
Ben Wood
RT @tim: Confirming @techcrunch's scoop, Apple is indeed close to buying Shazam, in what would be among the largest deals for both Apple an…
Follow Ben
Martin Garner
RT @geoffblaber: 20 hour battery life on Windows 10 Devices with Snapdragon is game changing. Transforms usage and utility. #SnapdragonSumm
Follow Martin
Geoff Blaber
Not of Beats proportions but Shazam a significant buy for Apple. Still amazed Shazam has remained independent for t… https://t.co/if1K9SwZGB
Follow Geoff
Marina Koytcheva
@EisenTV @CCSInsight Ah! I thought I said "brief success" :)
Follow Marina
Nicholas McQuire
Alright, who’d win? (Note: that’s a Tree Fu Tom watch on Batman & Spidey’s been hittin the gym badass)
Follow Nicholas
Paolo Pescatore
With the snow falling what a perfect day to watch both #LIVEVE & #MUNMCI live in #UHD #4K #DolbyAtmos #PL on #SkyQ https://t.co/IMJvGW3TSA
Follow Paolo
Kester Mann
@kimfaura Look forward to it!
Follow Kester
George Jijiashvili
Unexpected VR skiing experience in an igloo in Paddington! #VR https://t.co/avUeC0hFre
Follow George
Laura Simeonova
RT @CCSInsight: Optimization for artificial intelligence defines competitiveness in mobile chipsets in 2019 and beyond #ccspredicts https:/…
Follow Laura
Katie Taylor
RT @guardianscience: Scientists make first ever attempt at gene editing inside the body https://t.co/e8u0BT9a09
Follow Katie

Recent Blog Posts

Blog Post
Google Rolls Out the Red Carpet in India Internet Giant Optimizes Products for the Subcontinent Th... Read more
Blog Post
Alexa Dons a Suit Alexa for Business Gives Enterprise a Voice Last week, at... Read more
Blog Post
Fast 3D Printing Designs Could Now Be Printed in Minutes Anyone who has prin... 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