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Monday, July 12, 2004

The world of premium sms

This Valista News article makes a good read on the world of mobile phones, premium SMS, e-money directive and payment service providers for SMS/3G billing:
According to John Hurley, vice-president of marketing at Valista, between 10 percent and 15 percent of total revenues at mobile phone companies is now coming from non-voice revenue such as personalisation, ringtones, messaging and digital purchases. In Japan it is already generating more revenues than voice, he says.



Friday, July 09, 2004

Will EU legislation help or hinder m-Commerce?

ARC Group writes a report. Most likely another version of the statement that old legislation does not help 'new' industries such os mobile operators. Which does not do justice to the technology neutral approach of the e-money directive, nor to the special purpose supervisory regime specifically designed for new players in the payment industry.

See also the website of Telecoms Korea and ARC Group.

Interesting enough, the ARC Group did not contact our association for more information on the issue........ I'm curious if they quote any of our position papers.



Monday, July 05, 2004

Planet - T-Mobile starts wap-billing via GPRS

Planet Multimedia reports that T-mobile has payment via WAP-billing operational. So where Vodafone needs to further develop its system, T-mobile has it up and running (with only 3 merchants though...).

Wap billing allows for payment of greater amounts than with SMS and has a business model where T-mobile shares revenue with the content provider.



Friday, July 02, 2004

Vodafone introduces m-payments via WAP

Planet Multimedia reports that Vodafone is developing a payment method whereby a click on the WAP-link effects a payment for tickets up to an amount of 10 euro. Essentially the Dutch version of m-pay, I presume.

Meanwhile Beep.nl is investigating how to add the Rabobank payment product Minitix to its payment portal for mobile payments. Effectively Beep acts as an integrator just like Bibit, but then for payment via mobile means.

Where will this end?

I think large retail players will operate their own payment brands; all the others will work with integrators or choose the most efficient and cheap payments brands in the market.



EU Commission and mobile operators: regulatory capture?

This article in Convergedigest outlines the content of an EU-Communication on Mobile Broadband Services. It demonstrates the regulatory capture situation of the EU Commission. The Commission sees mobile services as their rescue towards achieving the Lissabon goals. And the mobile operators' call to not be bothered by financial legislation has found its way into this Commission Communication:

A proportionate and technologically neutral legal environment should include the following suggested aspects:
• Payments made directly to mobile operators for services provided by such mobile operators do not fall within the scope of provision of payment services.
• Only the e-money element of the prepaid mobile float should be regulated under the e-Money Directive.
• Regulators should aim to apply only the minimum regulation needed to ensure appropriate coverage of financial stability risks and consumer protection.
• Redeemability rules must be applied in a way that reflects the inherent risks to consumers.
• Money laundering rules will be adapted to take account of products and transactions, including e-money, issued or used in small amounts, which represent a low risk of money laundering.


See also article 10 in the proposed Money Laundering Rules for Europe. It qualifies e-money as a low-risk product in terms of money laundering if:
low limits are imposed on the amount issued, the amount that can be stored on an electronic device or the size of the permitted transactions.


Well, the good thing is that the communication outlines that money laundering rules apply to mobile operators. The questionable part relates to the exemption. One might wonder if only the limits on products/transactions are relevant. What about total turnover and velocity of payments..? Why not use the already defined exemption value of the e-money directive (float of 5 or 6 million euro)?



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