Friday, October 31, 2008


POCit is a new mobile payment service launched in South Africa recently. The service allows anyone with a credit card to send money to anyone (with a cellphone). Because of the background of the company backing the service, POCit also allows a subscriber to pay medical bills. A subscriber must download a Java application in order to get access to the service.

This is good news as it shows that the degree of activity in the industry, but is also worrying because of the proliferation of services and the lack of integration and coordination. It would be interesting how many subscribers POCit would gather in a very competitive South African market.


Unknown said...

Completely agree with your concern on the integration of various applications. I really hope that the end clients do not get bogged down by the number of applications they need to load up on their mobile phone.

David said...

The question you raise about integration and coordination is an interesting and important one. It also suggests the tension between building a product and building a platform. A product is closed and propriatary, seeking to capture all the value it creates while a platform is open and allows complimentors to add value to the platform through integration (or some other way) and in so doing increase the size of the pie with no one entity capturing all of the value. (VISA and Playstation are good examples of platforms with interfaces for accredited banks etc... and game developers respectively)

I can't comment for the other players but POCIT has been designed to be a platform and is in finalising interfaces for publication. This will allow others (subject to accreditation) to compliment the platform, add and capture value.

South Africa is a hotbed of mobile innovation. While the variety (from mobile bakning interfaces to bank and network independant payment platforms) makes it confusing for users. Perhaps this means this it is too early to tell who has developed what users really want/need?