Mobile phone Paymentz comes of age

Mobile phone Paymentz comes of age

Telcos, banks and Web developers invited to share in Paymentz piece of the m-commerce pie

Application service provider, Paymentz, has kicked-off discussions with local phone resellers, banks and telecommunications companies to on-sell its mobile commerce technology.

Paymentz founder and managing director, Rob Manson, claimed m-commerce was a budding market he expected to come of age. He cited the support shown by major credit card companies, such as Visa and Mastercard, as a catalyst for growth.

"We recently completed a commercial launch at [electronics tradeshow] CeBIT and the response was absolutely overwhelming," he said. "Although m-commerce is still a fledgling concept in this country, especially after its false dawn during the dotcom boom, this level of interest in our product tells me that the market is ready to embrace m-commerce again."

Paymentz complements existing credit card services by enabling merchants to process payments using a mobile phone. The "network agnostic" application is expected to benefit small to medium enterprises and tradespeople, who can use it to process payments from any location with mobile coverage.

The company currently is promoting 3's X-series phones, which Manson said support high-speed Internet connections that best suit the service. The company is also in discussions with other phone resellers including Optus. Manson said response so far had been very positive.

Transactions operate over a 256bit SSL connection. The Paymentz application sends information securely and directly to the bank. Manson said there is also potential for the service to be provided through partner websites. Discussions are currently underway for it to be included on 3's Web portal.

"At the moment, we're 100 per cent focused on direct sales, but that's just while we're in discussion with our partners. We really would like to see 80 per cent or more come through a channel," he said. "We've had a lot of interest from Web developers and computer support people. We're also really looking at banks, because from a customer's point of view, this is really a financial services product and their trust relationship is with the banks."

Besides commissions of up to 75 per cent on sales, Manson said resellers stand to receive affiliate revenue for each paid subscriber to the Paymentz service; a share in ongoing subscription and transaction fees for co-branded services; as well as telco commissions and revenue for phone sales.

While he declined to put a dollar value on the potentials of m-commerce, Manson cited surveys from the Australian Bureau of Statistics and the Reserve Bank of Australia which reported 18 million credit cards had been issued in Australia, collectively producing 100 million transactions per month.

About one billion mobile phones were sold last year, and three million people are expected to upgrade to new 3G devices this year. Already, one in three companies is using mobile data in its business, Manson said.

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