Tuesday, December 09, 2003

IM4U: integration of SMS and ICQ ; towards e-money

PlanetMultimedia reports that radiostation Radio 538, television-channel The Box, newspaper Spits (Telegraaf) and Rabobank will jointly supply software that combines the functions of SMS via the mobile (all 5 Dutch operatos) and the chatprograms MSN en Yahoo Messenger en ICQ. The software can be downloaded as of this friday.

Actually, the software has been developed by Trees.nl under the name IM4U and is distributed by the four partners under their own brand name. It will also be possible to use premium SMS or 0900-numbers to buy credits. These can be used to purchase ringtones etc. So, only if Trees.nl (re)sell all these goodies itself, will it not be an electronic money institution. Otherwise we can welcome another new player in the e-money market.

Interesting news is that, given the expected large volume of SMS, a price will be charged to the user of 14 eurocent (as opposed to the regular 22 eurocent now charged in the netherlands). So if only for this reason we may expect IM4U to be an immediate succes.