Thursday, 27 March 2008

Mobile billing in the dark ages?

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I was talking to an industry colleague about billing the other day. We spoke about the billing options available and the restrictions placed on both consumers and retailers. The facts are until we can create billing services that are simple for the consumer and efficient for the retailer, it will continue to be difficult for consumers to buy products on the go.

For products I mean things that you just need to purchase when you may not be on the fixed line computer (not ringtones and wallpapers). One example is a HPI Car Check that retails at £17-, I have proposed that we create a mobile version with less thrills for £5. The problem is that after billing costs there is not enough to share, so once again the consumer loses out, unless we go down the credit card booking line, which defeats the objective?

I do not have the stats handy on many people have access to pay pal or Bango at present, but i am pretty sure it is less than half of mobile owners. That is a shame because surely we need to change the consumer behaviour to drive mobile transactions, yet if the cost of doing business is too high then we will continue to adopt low penetration of transactions on mobile.

I am informed that pay4it enhance the billing process, however, will this take away the high level of cost to the retailer who wants to market his goods using mobile?

Interestingly the QR codes could be a driver to increased mobile transactions as the media and advertisers seem to be pushing this. With a changeable back end, this allows retailers to change their offering (product/price)pretty much at will.

The issue now is how do the consumers pay for it?

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