Mobile commerce (mCommerce) has become a global trend that’s catching on quickly across industries. In Asia alone there has been a rapid pace of adoption of mobile subscription by customers, particularly in Philippines. Mobile commerce services make it possible for people to perform everyday financial transactions from their mobile phone. People who previously had no access to financial services are able to save money, send money between family members, and pay merchants for goods and services with their mobile phone.
Industries outside of the financial sector have also been integrating mCommerce. Utilities companies update customers on their consumption and enable them to pay bills. Restaurants, hotels, and cinemas provide mobile reservation and booking services. For its part, the retail industry uses end-to-end mCommerce services—from mobile marketing and awareness campaigns, to mobile loyalty programs, vouchers, and surveys, to mobile point-of-sale technology.
“We have always been proactively innovating to provide relevant solutions to the business sector enabling them to run better.” Said Darren Rushworth, Managing Director of SAP Philippines and Emerging Markets. “Mobility solutions for business transactions is now becoming a trend as people do transactions through mobile instruments. It is simply the way people today are doing business.”
According to Gartner, Asia-Pacific and Africa will account for more than 60 percent of global mobile payments volume by 2016. For example, in Indonesia, of its 240 million population, only 20 percent have bank accounts and 50 percent have access to nonbanking institutions, leaving the remaining 30 percent with no access to any form of financial services.
The Philippines, on the other hand, has embraced the mCommerce path, which presents a unique opportunity for banks in the country not only to adopt mobile as technology to deliver banking products and services but also to diversify into a full mCommerce strategy to open new revenue lines. From a consumer perspective, this fits well into their existing mobile adoption and usage patterns, helping them to regain control of finances while on the go.
“The mobile operators are getting together and creating cash in points for overseas Philippines workers, while the banks have done little in the way of enabling mobile remittance,” says Guruprasad Gaonkar, Head of Financial Services Industry Solutions, SAP South East Asia. “A significant revenue stream is available for mobile remittance, for both domestic and international corridors.” he added.
Recent developments elsewhere have shows banks taking the lead: for example, the Dutch Bangla Bank (Bangladesh), through its “bank the unbanked” offering to customers, has achieved tremendous success in terms of customer adoption (400,000 new customers in 8 months and 1800 new customers are being added each day) and generated 18 Million USD in deposits. The bank-led model enables banks to provide holistic financial services to existing customers and extend financial services to new ones—the underserved or unserved owing to limited market reach or because of the cost to serve them on traditional core banking platforms.
SAP provides end-to-end mCommerce solutions through Sybase 365 Mobile Services, which currently has more than 3,700 banking customers globally with over 200 customers for SAP mCommerce Solutions. These solutions include those for transactions (mBanking, mPayment, mTopUp, mRemittance); engagement (mCRM); analytics (data management, Analytics, and reporting); and marketing (messaging, subscription, and advertising services).
These mCommerce solutions enable customer transaction, build customer awareness, provide customer intelligence, and strengthen customer relationships and more importantly creates new revenue streams for banks.
SAP mCommerce has been rated highly by leading analysts (including Gartner, Juniper Research, 451 Research, Tower Group, and Aite, among others) for the solution itself as well as for the mCommerce experience, which is key to a successful engagement and implementation.
“Regional banks with domestic presence in Asia have a unique opportunity to innovate and create their own Asian mobile payment network that would facilitate domestic and cross-border mobile remittance and transfers, and mobile payments,” says Tarik Husain, Regional Director – SAP Sybase mCommerce Solutions, SAP Asia Pacific Japan. “With SAP Sybase Messaging Services we are connected to pretty much every telco globally. Sybase Messaging Platform connects more than 900 telcos globally and processes 1.8 billion messages per day. We are uniquely positioned to extend this reach to Financial Service providers where consumers can interact with banks independent of their mobile service provider.” said Tarik.
On the other hand, the Sybase mCommerce Platform can help process requests from consumers, enabling an end-to-end bank-owned Asian Mobile Payment Network. “There is huge revenue potential for regional banks on the one hand, and on the other, consumers benefit from lower fees in comparison to what they incur via traditional payment networks.”