Ericsson introduces m-commerce payment service

Ericsson has presented software under the name Mobile Commerce Platform with which payments can be arranged via the mobile phone. Ericsson customers can use it to handle online payments as well as to charge money for online content and services. According to Ericsson, the latter application will be used more and more, because free online services will be replaced more often by paid

Ericsson has presented software under the name Mobile Commerce Platform with which payments can be arranged via the mobile phone. Ericsson customers can use it to handle online payments as well as to charge money for online content and services. According to Ericsson, the latter application will be used more and more, because free online services will be replaced more often by paid.

The Mobile Commerce Platform is part of the Ericsson Internet Services Platform, a business unit that focuses on the development of mobile internet. One of the focus points is finding payment methods. According to Ericsson, this is becoming increasingly important because a growing number of services will be offered for payment on the internet. Companies will, according to Ericsson, increasingly abandon the free offering of products and services.

Payments via the mobile phone, or via the fixed internet, will be done for buying tickets (concert tickets, cinema tickets), making financial transactions, buying products, playing games and trading in shares for example. It is also expected that publishers will have to pay for content more often, such as when requesting a particular article.

Together with Hewlett-Packard, Ericsson has developed the payment technique Jaldatm, this technique supports micro payments, where a small fee is asked for, for example, the retrieval of a route description, but the system also supports payments based on a certain period of time. For example, the latter is relevant for offering and playing games for a fee.

Ericsson expects to offer the new application, which is suitable for both fixed and mobile internet, in the second quarter of this year. The Mobile Commerce Platform works on the current telephone network, the GPRS network and is also suitable for the UMTS network, with which a fast connection via the mobile phone can be made and more advanced services can be offered than via the current network. The Mobile Commerce Platform also works on networks built with technology from Ericsson's competitors, such as Nokia and Siemens.

The m-commerce market, which Ericsson is focusing on with the new service, had sales of $ 400 million last year in Japan, according to Jupiter Research. According to Jupiter, 1.7 billion dollars will be converted in Europe in 2003. Boston Consulting Group sees significantly lower sales, the consultants of this agency predict worldwide sales of 100 million dollars in 2003. Forrester keeps 3 percent of the online turnover in 2005, without mentioning an amount.

Also see:
GPRS series, part 8: M-commerce