|By||http://e27.cohttp://e27.sg/2012/10/22/will-the-next-bbm-update-improve-indonesias-mobile-payments-space/||| Oct 22, 2012 | Corporations|
Research in Motion CEO Thorsten Heins has been in town since last Thursday. Apparently, his visit in Jakarta — which contributes 8% of RIM’s revenue, the biggest country-specific share — is to finalize deals and agreements on the launch of their latest BlackBerry 10 operating system, and along with it a new version of BlackBerry Messenger (BBM). Heins has reportedly been in discussions with three major local operators, Telkomesl, Indosat, XL, and their retail partners.
Indonesia is the remaining country where RIM has a majority share of the smartphone market, at 56%. Indonesia will also be the among the first markets to receive the latest BlackBerry 10, along with “500 popular apps when launched in the first quarter next year,” as hinted by Chief Marketing Officer Frank Boulben during the press conference.
Six BlackBerry devices upon BlackBerry 10 launch
They are currently lining up six devices for the upcoming launch,which includes two products for each segment: entry-level, mid-range, and premium. One is a full touch-screen device, and the others are touch-and-type hybrids that have the trademark BlackBerry keyboard.
The latest platform will feature BlackBerry Hub, BlackBerry Balance, and a predictive keyboard, aside from the latest version of BBM. Hub is a one-stop-center for messaging that lets users manage any kind of messages from email accounts, BBM, social networking sites and text messages all in one single location. It also acts as event notification center.
BlackBerry Balance, meanwhile, helps business users improve their “bring your own device” experience. This is designed to separate the personal and work-related workspace on the device, so that a user’s privacy is respected while at home, while their sensitive work information is protected at the same time.
BBM as a mobile commerce platform
BBM is, of course, one of the more popular features of the platform in this market. However, RIM realizes that this service should go beyond just messaging, in order for BlackBerry 10 to better compete against the likes of Android and iOS.
The Canadian firm might have heard of Indonesia’s concerns on payment methods, which today are primarily serviced by bank transfer or cash-on-delivery (CoD) methods. It was revealed by Italiano Gani in one of the SparxUp Jakarta panel sessions last week that only 20% of Indonesians have bank accounts, and only 6% own credit cards.
BBM has also become a social platform for commerce. For instance, sellers broadcast product listings or send these to their BBM groups or even private BBM contacts. Buyers then respond through the messaging service to discuss payment terms afterward.
Mr. Heins says this is something RIM wants to take advantage of. He highlights that BBM can be a strong platform for e-commerce, and can go beyond being just a communication tool.
“Think about transacting money. This is one element in which you could have a huge BBM population in Indonesia transferring money from one partner to another,” he said in an interview with the Jakarta Post. But he refuses to explicitly state how BBM will be able to support e-commerce transactions as RIM “wants to surprise Indonesian consumers.”
Well, let’s wait until it’s finally here. BlackBerry 10 has been postponed twice. When the time to unbox our latest BlackBerry devices comes, hopefully it will not be a Pandora’s Box we are going to uncover.