Twitter Founder to Revolutionise Mobile Payments?

(03 Dec 2009, BWCS Staff)


Norwegians Enter India

Prior to the long-expected, and much talked about, 3G auctions in the country, the Telenor-backed, Unitech Wireless has launched services in seven out of its 22 telecoms circles in India. At the same time, the company announced that it would not participate in the national auction of 3G mobile frequency. However, Jon Fredrik Baksaas, the president and chief executive officer the Norwegian telecom company, said today that Telenor and Unitech Wireless will look at bidding for select 3G mobile zones.

Last year Telenor bought a 60% stake in the Indian mobile operator for a reported US$1.07 billion. The purchase gave the Norwegian company control of one of the new Indian operators that had received licences and radio spectrum earlier in 2008. Unitech has operating licenses covering all 22 telecom circles. According to press reports, the Norwegian company has been paying for the stake in four separate parts with the entire transaction completed at the end of September 2009.

A fierce price war is currently being waged in the fast-growing Indian mobile market. Tata Teleservices recently launched per-second billing, moving the industry away from the per-minute billing which had been the norm. The larger mobile companies in India, Bharti Airtel, Reliance Communications and Vodafone Essar have all followed suit to launch the per-second billing, which analysts have said will significantly dent profit margins.


One of the co-founders of world renowned mini-blog site, Twitter, has launched a new mobile payment company. Jack Dorsey's new venture "Square" is busy developing a payment service and portable device to allow vendors to process payments and customers to track their purchases all via their mobile handsets. Naturally, Dorsey, who is acting as the new company's CEO, announced the new company on Twitter.

The company, which is currently putting its system through a variety of tests, says its aim is to create a convenient alternative to paper money and receipts. According to Dorsey's micro-posting, Square's service uses a card scanner that can be plugged into the phone via an audio input jack. Square also plans to offer photo authentication services and delivery receipts sent back via mobile phones.

Square's website states: "Even though a majority of payments has moved to plastic cards, accepting payments from cards is still difficult, requiring long applications, expensive hardware, and an overly complex experience. Today the Square team is focused on bringing immediacy, transparency, and approachability to the world of payments: an inherently social interaction each of us participates in daily."


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