Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Competition between MMU vendors

I was quoted in a recent interview on "le paiement mobile" with Carol Realini, saying "Mobile Money community is maturing. The fierce competitive spirit between different companies in the past has been replaced with a drive for open interfaces and creating networks of benefits for all connected parties." (read more here). This is from a previous blog-entry, specifically talking about the latest MMU meeting in Barcelona.

While I am still of the opinion that the more mature companies are now starting to look for ways of collaboration and how to grow the market, this is not true of many new entrants. The provision of mobile payment solutions seem to have a magic perception to it. Everyone entering the industry (and their financial backers) believe that they have an offering that will turn the industry upside out. They start of selling the solution at a discount - often offering the solution for free (on revenue share downstream), just trying to break into the market and creating some reference. The result of this behaviour is a kind of fierce competition. Although this is not visible amongst the established vendors.

The competition between operators of mobile payment solutions seems to be growing in intensity. The behaviour of Zain (with their ZAP) product and Orange does create the perception of fierce competition. Is it possible for vendors to have a collaborative approach when their clients are competing fiercely?

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