I’m currently working for Sepomo a mobile payments company based in Madrid, who via a licencing agreement with Danal, a leader in Direct Carrier Billing, are now providing this service to mobile operators and merchants in Latin America, Iberia and the Caribbean. In essence Direct Carrier Billing enables consumers to shop online using the credit on their mobile rather than a bank card.
Mobile payments aren’t new. Whilst at O2, Genie mobile and Infinito.it in the early years of 2000, we targeted the “hooded generation” to use their mobile to buy mobile data services eg games, logos and ringtones. Using the combination of wap and premium sms it was a good business and fulfilled a need for our customers to express themselves on their mobile before the likes of social networking.
Today like the hoodie, mobile payments are moving mainstream. The projection of global market value ranges from $500 to $1000 billion by 2016 with both large and small companies “feeling out” their positions on the value chain through trials, statements of co-operation and new services. The list includes banks, mobile operators, on and off line retailers and merchants, financial card networks, social networks, technology providers and mobile device manufacturers.
In the developed world much of the revenue will be generated through the buying and selling of online and physical goods. In developing countries mobile tops ups and money transfers will predominate like they have in Africa for some years due to the large proportion of unbanked citizens, less sophisticated mobile devices and less mature m-commerce.
In the forthcoming weeks I’m going to use the blog to discuss different hypothesis related to the evolution of mobile payments in both developing and developing world regions with a particular focus on how the end customer will accept or reject the value propositions promoted by the stakeholders above. I’m a firm believer that the winners will be those who aren’t always first, who understand and can deliver an excellent customer experience and who have a brand that their target market trusts.