According to Juniper Research, about 2,1 billion mobile consumers worldwide will be using their mobile phone to pay for digital goods by 2013. They point out that ever more digital goods are viewed as necessary by the age group under 35. People who are 15 or 20 years old today will use their mobile to directly pay for mobile services such as mobile music downloads. Smartphone devices such as the iPhone encourage this evolution even more.
While mobile payments can be used for music, games, tickets, infotainment and other digital goods, we don’t see that many concrete examples yet today. Probably the best prove that it works are the sms parking service and the sms bus tickets that exists is several Belgian cities now. Last week, De lijn announced that it sold its 200.000th SMS ticket. Since it’s launch in September 2007, there are about 17.000 travellers a month that their their bus fare by SMS. 62% of those are on the account of Antwerp, the other 38% for Ghent. Later this year, De Lijn will decide if the project will be extended to other cities. The advantage for the consumer is that the SMS ticket is cheaper than a normal ticket (1,20 euro instead of 1,60). Unfortunately, it is only available for Proximus subscribers.