Tuesday, October 12, 2010

The complexity of mobile infrastructure influence on mobile payments

On the right is a screenshot of my iPhone. It is a text "conversation" that I was recently confronted with. The text message that I sent to the recipient was reportedly not delivered. After some time, the recipient responded as if he did receive the message and then kept on responding five times every twenty minutes.

We have all been exposed to such a situation and (although irritating), we understand that these networks are complex and things can go wrong. For us with a bit more technical back-ground, it is clear that although I was registered on the network, something went wrong with the data-entry on the networks SMS-C.

This is possibly acceptable, because no money was lost. I had to deal with a bit of inconvenience. However, if a financial transaction or instruction was carried on these "mis-behaving" messages, money may have been lost, or it would be possible that consumers would be extremely concerned. It is just not an option to deliver financial services on a platform with this behaviour.

Now for a moment consider how to build a system that sits on top of a platform with this kind of erratic behaviour (albeit infrequently). Difficult? Almost impossible? Hmmmm

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