Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Banxafe for m-payments via the Belgian bank

The belgian banking/telco community has developed and launched m-payments that combine access to the bank account and holding a mobile telephone (see todays announcement here). I think it requires a smart sim somehow (so the customer who doesn't have one needs to get one in the shop). Automatiseringsgids informs us that one payment costs 25 cents to the consumer and49 cents to the merchant and that the minimum amount payable is 6 euro.

The flash animation for the product is quite amusing: (click here) and confirms a market positioning for the more than small-value payments. The payment functionality is branded: Pay2Me and the only company now accepting it is Pizzeria Arrivero (who undoubtedly dislike carrying cash).

Well, witnessing the highly succesfull current payment facilities of telco's, we can only hope the best for this initiative. It is built with high bank involvement, so it will have quite some hurdles, caused by bank regulation (identification, security, monitoring of transactions etc). Meanwhile the home-bred telco payments (paying for information, ringtones etc. from the pre-paid funds or from mobile account) will continue to eat up the real low-value market and may remain unregulated if the assumed Commission-telco lobby (described by the Dutch bankers on pages 11/12 of their reply to the Commission Enquiry into competition in banking).