Where is the real opportunity in mobile payments?
Developed markets are tough ones to crack, since consumers already buy a significant amount of goods and services (real stuff in real stores and digital content in the iTunes store) with their credit cards.
Still, there is a chance that consumers will prefer charging so-called first-generation content (content they are buying for the first time from independent app stores or virtual goods such as Facebook credits) to their monthly mobile phone bills.
However, the real opportunity for mobile operators is in developing markets where credit card penetration is low and the appetite for mobile commerce is high.
In India, for example, the government recently created a new agency that’s creating ID numbers for all Indian consumers that could jumpstart mobile commerce, enabling merchants to verify consumers and clear the way for them to make purchases using their mobile phones. (But even then the market will have to start with more basic billing technology such as premium SMS since less than 10 percent of Indians own a smartphone.)
What about other developing markets?
I outline the opportunities in other regions and argue mobile operators must do all they can to be the primary payment issuers for any transaction.
Matt Anderson is Head of product marketing for Amdocs Interactive, a distinct business within Amdocs focused on Value Added Services, which is the world’s leading provider of digital commerce, Mobile Internet and personalization solutions. Matt has over 13 years experience bringing products to market in the telecommunications industry. Prior to joining Amdocs in 2008, he directed marketing for Nuance’s mobile business unit, focused on market development of speech activation applications in the mobile, navigation and automotive industries. Previously he launched the next generation of T9 at AOL Wireless and was responsible for managing mobile VAS offers at AT&T. Matt also founded a start-up in the telematics business and managed marketing and sales for one of the first wireless data networking companies. Matt has an MBA from the University of Washington. You can follow Matt on Twitter (@matt6156).
Disclaimer: Amdocs Interactive is an MSG client and supporter.