Feeds

People want to pay by phone

But m-commerce 'inadequate'

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

The essential guide to IT transformation

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

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Déjà vu: Virgin Media jacks up broadband prices
Screw copper phone lines, we're UNIQUE, bleats telco
NBN Co claims 96 mbps download speeds for FTTN trial
Umina trial also delivers 30 mbps uploads, but exact rig used not revealed
UK fuzz want PINCODES on ALL mobile phones
Met Police calls for mandatory passwords on all new mobes
Netflix swallows yet another bitter pill, inks peering deal with TWC
Net neutrality crusader once again pays up for priority access
New Sprint CEO says he will lower axe on staff – but prices come first
'Very disruptive' new rates to be revealed next week
EE: STILL Blighty's best mobe network, says 'Frappucino' Moore
Fresh round of network stats fisticuffs possibly on the cards here
US TV stations bowl sueball directly at FCC's spectrum mega-sale
Broadcasters upset about coverage and cost as they shift up and down the dials
EE network whacked by 'PDP authentication failure' blunder
Carrier is 'aware' of cockup, working on a fix NOW
ROAD TRIP! An FCC road trip – Leahy demands net neutrality debate across US
You crashed watchdog's site, now time to crash its ears
prev story

Whitepapers

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.
7 Elements of Radically Simple OS Migration
Avoid the typical headaches of OS migration during your next project by learning about 7 elements of radically simple OS migration.
BYOD's dark side: Data protection
An endpoint data protection solution that adds value to the user and the organization so it can protect itself from data loss as well as leverage corporate data.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?