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Paying by Cell Phone?

Hi,

I'm trying to implement a service similar to how customers can use their cell phones to pay vending machines instead of putting in coins. My question is: what is the easiest way to charge customers over the cell phone? PayPal Mobile looks nice but it seems to require customers to browse the internet using their phone. I'm not sure how many Canadian customers actually have data plans, but I suspect the majority of them do not.

Is there an easy-to-use cell-phone billing system out there that is fully SMS driven and is available in Canada?

Thank you,
Gili
Gili Send private email
Friday, September 25, 2009
 
 
Not sure about the Canadian market specifically. The easiest way to do it by far is to include it in the customer's bill - that's the way it's done over here, we can pay for parking, bus tickets, etc. But it requires a highly competitive market, where carriers keep their surcharges low.

Have a look at http://www.masabi.com/, they figured it out for the UK market, and also do payment systems for African countries.
Andrei Tuch Send private email
Saturday, September 26, 2009
 
 
Interesting! Looks like they're uploading an application to the user (over what? bluetooth?) that sends visa information over an internet connection.

I like the idea from a usability point of view, but it doesn't seem to add much value over what PayPal already provides. The most it will save you is 30 cents a transaction but you still need to pay VISA 3%. I'm looking at https://www.paypal.com/ca/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_display-fees-outside

I'm looking to pay VISA + up to 10 cents per transaction. Does that exist?
Gili Send private email
Saturday, September 26, 2009
 
 
This is slightly off topic but here is a very interesting article titled "The power of mobile money" from The Economist that I just read. It describes how paying via mobile/SMS is revolutionizing commerce in developing countries.

It is not the exact problem your software will remedy but there are parallels and perhaps you'll find it interesting.

http://www.economist.com/opinion/displayStory.cfm?story_id=14505519
Chris Reitter Send private email
Sunday, September 27, 2009
 
 
Careful what you develop, there may be some traction soon for mNFC (mobile near field communications).

Just saying.
schlabnotnik Send private email
Monday, September 28, 2009
 
 
Guys that was a great idea of charging customer over they phone bills than  the sophisticated pay pal . I guess this idea should be taken accross to a lot of countries.
herque Send private email
Wednesday, September 30, 2009
 
 
One thing to add (a counter to my earlier post) is that Nokia (a major player/investor in the mNFC world) has set their sites on small payment/SMS also.  They want NFC to get traction, but don't want to wait.  But, they can probably afford to be in both camps :)
schlabnotnik Send private email
Wednesday, September 30, 2009
 
 

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