Feeds

People want to pay by phone

But m-commerce 'inadequate'

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Seven Steps to Software Security

In a very short space of time mobile phones have become nearly ubiquitous in many societies around the globe. As the ratio of the number of cell phones per head of population moves towards one, the network operators are keen to uncover new methods of extracting money from their subscribers, in both the contract and prepay sectors. The question then becomes: are consumers happy to use their phones to buy new services?

This question was amongst several issues addressed in a survey commissioned by Qpass, a provider of mobile commerce software used by mobile operators. Respondents overwhelmingly expressed a willingness to use their mobiles as a payment mechanism, with 80 per cent of those surveyed potentially happy to pay for a range of services with their phone.

However, among those who have used phones to make purchases, around 40 per cent of m-commerce transactions experienced errors. This result is also reflected in the thoughts of the providers of mobile content across the EU. When 20 such organisations were questioned, 45 per cent described mobile commerce systems in use today as "poor" while a further 40 per cent depicted them as "inadequate".

The mobile content providers are concerned that the network operators do not possess the business systems required to support their needs and consider the situation to be unacceptable. The lack of such systems and mobile commerce support structures is stifling the release and take up of new services, they say. This is particularly deemed to be the case where the billing systems employed are unable to easily handle new, more flexible pricing models.

The bulk of mobile revenues in the EU today still result from premium SMS services such as ring tones and wallpapers, although the proportion is falling as other services, notably gaming and gambling, slowly come on stream. Qpass offers Services Management software to help manage all facets of service provision, mobile commerce payment and settlement along with workflow capabilities to handle content partner relationships, service bundle creation and customer care in both mobile and "Wi-Fi" networks.

Qpass also helps mobile operators establish appropriate business rules for new services and helps to deliver new content and offerings in a more timely fashion. The functionality provided covers content provider management, service offer management, payments, settlements and, an area often overlooked, customer care and reporting. In effect, Qpass can abstract service management from the existing billing, provisioning and CRM infrastructures helping to create a far more flexible service platform that often results in increased revenue per purchasing account.

Qpass is now looking to expand its presence in Europe following years of successful operation in North America. With customers ready to use their phones to buy new services it is up to the industry to supply offerings to the market at prices that the consumer will pay, when they want to use them.

The retail, parking and transport industries appear to be well positioned to exploit mobile phones as purchasing tools. With new e-money regulations still gaining a foothold in the EU and with mobile devices nearly ubiquitous, are you ready to pay by phone for more than a snazzy (or annoying) ring tone?

Copyright © 2004, IT-Analysis.com

Related stories

Samsung phones to double as wallets
eBay UK goes mobile
Motorola buys MeshNetworks

The smart choice: opportunity from uncertainty

More from The Register

next story
Auntie remains MYSTIFIED by that weekend BBC iPlayer and website outage
Still doing 'forensics' on the caching layer – Beeb digi wonk
Apple orders huge MOUNTAIN of 80 MILLION 'Air' iPhone 6s
Bigger, harder trouser bulges foretold for fanbois
GoTenna: How does this 'magic' work?
An ideal product if you believe the Earth is flat
Telstra to KILL 2G network by end of 2016
GSM now stands for Grave-Seeking-Mobile network
Seeking LTE expert to insert small cells into BT customers' places
Is this the first step to a FON-a-like 4G network?
Yorkshire cops fail to grasp principle behind BT Fon Wi-Fi network
'Prevent people that are passing by to hook up to your network', pleads plod
BlackBerry: Toss the server, mate... BES is in the CLOUD now
BlackBerry Enterprise Services takes aim at SMEs - but there's a catch
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.