BlackBerry has launched its first BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) mobile payments service. The proprietary BBM Money is being piloted in Indonesia in partnership with local bank PermataBank and mobile software specialist Monitise, and aims to attract many ‘unbanked’ customers.
The service enables Indonesian consumers to create and access a mobile money account from their BlackBerry smartphone and make real-time payments to their BBM contacts, if they are also signed up to the new service. BBM Money users can also buy mobile airtime credit and transfer money to bank accounts. The service was developed by PT AGIT Monitise Indonesia, a joint venture between Monitise Asia Pacific and Astra Graphia Information Technology (AGIT), and issued and managed by PermataBank,
BBM Money is entering an Indonesian marketplace where only 40% have a bank account but 90% of the population has a mobile, many of them BlackBerrys. It is regarded as an opportunity to attract ‘unbanked’ people towards financial services, as has happened in Kenya with M-Pesa and other similar schemes.
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