Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Mobile phone as payment tool at POS and for remittances

GSM announced that the worldwide use of mobile phones for payments at point of sale is the aim of a new initiative announced by the GSM Association (GSMA), the global trade organization for mobile operators. The announcement is a sort of spin-off from the 3GSM conference. During which conference operators also announced their ambitions to be more active in the remittance market: "By exploiting the extensive reach of the mobile networks, the programme will complement existing local remittances channels and make transferring money internationally significantly more affordable. "

And still there are regulators around that claim that the mobile phone is not a payment instrument but merely a communication tool that is only incidentally used for payments...

I always wonder, don't those regulators have kids that spend 50% of their pocket money on payment via mobile phone? And don't they try it out for themselves?

Last week I joined the crowd here in the Netherlands and sent an SMS to vote for X6; a womens group running up in the Dutch X-factor (sort of Idols). Of course I got a response thanking me for the vote, but also another invitation to send in another SMS to increase my odds for winning a free ticket to next weeks' live show.

And then, this sms was again followed up by another quiz-question inviting me to sms the right answer and once again increase my odds. I was quite curious how many questions they had for me. The answer: 5 more questions (and as I flunked one, that meant 6 more SMS's costing 0,60 euro). And only one of those sms-es had a warning: don't sms too much.

So much for my contribution to the more than 1 billion euro revenue for Dutch data services (2006).