WU & MAXIS

Western Union and Maxis Communications Berhad, Malaysia’s leading mobile
communications service provider, are launching a service by 2010 to
allow Maxis subscribers to send cross-border remittances directly from
their mobile phones. This would allow 11 million Maxis subscribers
across the Country to send funds from their mobile phones. Recipients
are allowed to pick up the funds in cash at more than 345,000 Western
Union Agent locations in 200 countries. The joint service will mark the
first time Western Union has enabled mobile money transfer transactions
from a mobile phone outside the United States. In 2008, more than US$6.4
billion (RM22.3 billion) in remittances was sent out of Malaysia, much
of which sent by an estimated 1.9 million foreign workers living in
Malaysia.

MONTISE & PAYNET

Monitise mobile banking services has signed a joint venture agreement
with Paynet electronics payment company. With the regional mobile phone
penetration nearing 50% of the consumer population, this partnership
will allow Monitise to extend its business further into Africa and the
Middle East to offer millions access to m-banking and financial
services. This thanks to Paynet’s well-established electronic payment
network in Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda that connects to 35 regional
financial institutions. In addition to providing traditional mobile
banking to bank account holders, Monitise also enables people without a
bank account to use its services with technology that works across all
generations of mobile phone platforms.

SCL & GLOBALPLATFORM

Seoul-based Smart Card Laboratory (SCL) international smart card
solutions provider has joined the GlobalPlatform international
specification body for smart card infrastructure as an ‘Observer
Member.’ With its membership, SCL is allowed to closely track the
debates and activities of all GlobalPlatform card, device and systems
technical committees, is given the opportunity to contribute to various
‘Mobile Task Force’ initiatives and participate in its Advisory Council,
which provide members with direct access to the Board of Directors.
GlobalPlatform is a member driven association with cross-industry
representation from all world continents with an estimated 305.7 million
smart cards deployed while Smart Card Laboratory smart card solution
offers a wide range of products and solutions related to smart cards.

MONITISE INDIA

Monitise plc has announced the formation of Monitise India. The company
will bring together a consortium of investors from across
the financial services and mobile technology market. ICICI Bank, The
proposed
Monitise India mobile money service has been designed around the
‘ecosystem’ principle. This leverages existing banking standards, such
as ISO 8583 & IFX, to connect regulated bank and card accounts with
multiple mobile networks. The planned services include balance enquiry,
transaction reports,
payments to merchants or other people, transfers between accounts, bill
payment and the ability to top up pre-pay mobile phone accounts.
The new service will let customers of participating financial
institutions manage their money and make payments on the move using
their choice of mobile network and handset.

Mobile Money Research Service is Unveiled

ABI Research has launched “Mobile Money Research Service.” It provides market data, analysis, and forecasts relevant to all the major stakeholders in this market: banks, financial services organizations, credit card processors, chip manufacturers, mobile device OEMs, Near Field Communications (NFC) suppliers, mobile network operators, system integrators, merchants and more. The new service provides a comprehensive view of the technologies, infrastructure, services, devices, supply chain participants, ecosystem partnerships, verticals, and customer interests/preferences driving the market for mobile commerce and banking services using the mobile phone. The new “Mobile Money” service will include many of the research components common to other ABI Research Services: full-length Research Reports, shorter Research Briefs, Market Data products, ABI Insights, and analyst inquiry support.

Uncertain Economy Produces an Always On Demand

A new survey has found that 53% of Americans said that the need for ‘always on’ information had increased in the past few months as the economic outlook has become less certain. The research by Monitise
Americas also found that overall 77% of Americans want ‘Always On’ banking. Over 90% of those polled who stated that they wanted mobile money services said that they would like to check account balances, view latest transactions and receive fraud alerts. Nine out of ten of consumers said they would use the service at least once a week, while 76% of consumers said that they would use the service more often.
Transactional services are also in demand, with 90% also wanting to transfer money between checking and savings accounts and 80% saying that they would like to be able to pay bills and receive notification when they are due. Additionally, the evidence showed that consumers want the service on their primary bank account, with 82% saying that they would prefer not to set up a new or secondary account in order to be able to manage their money on the move.

MOBILE FORECASTS

Ovum’s newly published ‘Mobile Regional and Country Forecast pack
2007-13’ provides detailed results of our ongoing forecasts of total, prepaid, voice and data
connections. Demand continues to power growth and most of the major mobile players.
In the US, 85% and 60% of Canada have low mobile penetration
rates relative to other mature economies, meaning that demand for mobile
services has not yet been fully met and connections growth is still possible.
The US added 3.9 million connections in the third quarter and
year-on-year total connections growth was 10%.
Postpaid emphasis reduces risk moving forward, but prepaid is an opportunity
Also significant is the fact that in the US 79% of connections in the
third quarter were postpaid, with Canadian operators reporting even higher figures.
As North America has relatively low penetration, prepaid could actually
be an opportunity for North American operators in 2009, as shown by T-Mobile’s
26% rise in prepaid subscriptions in the third quarter. Assuming offerings are
positioned carefully so as not to erode contract revenues, then the customer base
could grow further in the currently underserved lower end segment.

AMEX INTL 2Q/08

London-based UpCode has teamed with Finland’s “Halpa Halli Visa” to introduce the 2d barcode on a card. This is the first of its kind that gives users mobile loyalty via Internet enabled mobile phone utilizing the “UpCode Reader” and the “UpCode” on the Visa card. Halpa Halli shoppers are now enabled with the cards in real time with store information and incentives that are being offered by scanning the “UpCode” on cards. “UpCode” includes an optical reader that uses mobile phones/devices to add any electronic information or system to printed products and to electronic information on screens. With the application it is possible to integrate all businesses and all forms of eCommerce, with print and screen media. The code (2D data matrix, QR-code, 1D barcode or color code) or other type of tag (picture, OCR) gives mobile phone users multiple access and interaction.

M-PAYMENTS FORECAST

New research is projecting that globally more than two billion consumers will be paying by the mobile phone by 2013. It is also projected that Western Europe and Far East & China will account for over 50% of the total digital goods gross transaction market value by 2013.
The report by Juniper Research also projects that today’s teenagers will be the drivers of mobile payments. Typical transaction sizes will
remain in the $3-$5 bracket, but a sufficient number of users will be using their mobiles to buy music, games, tickets, infotainment and the other digital goods sufficiently often to see gross transaction value grow nearly seven fold by 2013.

Global Pay-by-Mobile to Hit 2B by 2013

New research is projecting that globally more than two billion
consumers will be paying by the mobile phone by 2013. It is also
projected that Western Europe and Far East & China will account for over
50% of the total digital goods gross transaction market value by 2013.
The report by Juniper Research also projects that today’s teenagers will
be the drivers of mobile payments. Typical transaction sizes will
remain in the $3-$5 bracket, but a sufficient number of users will be
using their mobiles to buy music, games, tickets, infotainment and the
other digital goods sufficiently often to see gross transaction value
grow nearly seven fold by 2013.

A/P SMART CARDS

Given the region’s massive technological advancement in recent years,
Research and Markets has announced the addition of “Strategic Assessment
Of The Asia Pacific Smart Card Markets” to their offering. The new
report discloses product quality and innovation is displacing pricing as
the primary business factor while market participants are making
significant headway toward smart cards’ increasing convergence of
applications and integration for product advancement. Research also
demonstrates contactless cards and mobile phones for transactions will
become increasingly evident in 2008 across Singapore, Taiwan, and Japan
with NFC phones, contactless subscriber identity modules (SIM) and radio
frequency-based SIM.

SMART CARD STUDY

Analysis from Frost & Sullivan’s “Strategic Assessment Of The Asia
Pacific Smart Card Markets Outlook” concludes converging applications
and integration technologies in Asia Pacific are allotting smart card
platforms diverse technologies. Moreover, acceptance of new technology
in the early stages is quite encouraging for smart card participants
while system integrators focus on coordination in order to
increase industry revenues. Furthermore, most of the countries
throughout the region do not have legacy systems, making it easy for the
market to quickly implement these contactless/next-generation converged
applications. Converged technology has provided Japanese end users, for
example, more than 100 types of mobile wallet phones while the
deployment of biometric readers in ATMs is fast-growing in Japan,
Taiwan, and South Korea.