W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-webpayments@w3.org > January 2014

Re: An analyst's view of the payment industry

From: Ricardo Varela <phobeo@gmail.com>
Date: Fri, 31 Jan 2014 15:14:33 +0000
Message-ID: <CAN46wV83=QopzZyYnWOUXerThjVu7YCFxBt+j01957TtBEi81g@mail.gmail.com>
To: Stephane Boyera <boyera@w3.org>
Cc: Web Payments CG <public-webpayments@w3.org>
I think some regulations on carrier billing are there and are so
restrictive because nobody has worked on making them any better, and they
usually err on the side of overprotection due to being compared (probably
unfairly) with previous attempts like Premium services. There are lots of
simple mechanisms to keep track of transactions and prepay credit (most
operators have this as a matter of fact) The status quo has evolved due to
operators not really paying much attention to consolidating themselves as
proper payment mechanisms, like the banks had to do when they initially
introduced the idea of debit/credit cards... it takes time and effort and
most of the time telcos are not that forward-looking (and not exactly bold
either). So we'll see how it all ends up :)

Regarding your other point: the main issue with "mobile money" is that it
still requires a "bank", some trusted institution that has the relation
both with the customer and the merchant. The advantage of things like
carrier billing or carrier-acting-as-bank systems (like MPESA) is that
carriers already have a "trust" relationship with at least one of the parts
of the equation. The issue is that they haven't usually been very good on
establishing relation with the other part. You need both for having market

Very similar to the situation that would happen in the case of a W3C
payment solution, actually... you have to convince both merchants and their
chosen financial institutions for adoption (and a bit users, but that
probably mostly depends on the merchants)



On Fri, Jan 31, 2014 at 11:53 AM, Stephane Boyera <boyera@w3.org> wrote:

> Hi Ricardo,
>  Just a comment on the "95% of mobile subscriptions are prepaid". What do
>> you think is the issue with that?
> no issue, just a fact. Usually people associate carrier billing with
> post-paid billing. See for instance wikipedia definition in
> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mobile_payment
> "Direct operator billing, also known as mobile content billing, WAP
> billing, and carrier billing, requires integration with the operator. It
> provides certain benefits:
> the operators already have a billing relationship with the consumers, the
> payment will be added to their bill."
> but technically I agree that charges on prepaid-account can be considered
> as carrier billing.
> That said, the issue is exactly what you say in your last paragraph: it is
> very restricted by most regulations. The reason of this restriction imho is
> that you can usually complain about a bill when you see how much someone
> has charge you compared to what he promised to charge, but with pre-paid,
> you, as a user, have no way to track the transactions that is charged to
> your sim. You just know when you reached the end of your credit. Regulation
> have evolved in many countries, where now each transactions must be
> announced to the user with an SMS after it has be removed from the account.
> The regulation have evolved in that direction (lots of restriction also on
> premium numbers and alike now) to protect the users, and this is definetly
> extra burden for merchants.
> In all case, in my opinion, the clear trend in the last 5 years is surely
> not towards developing carrier billing, but towards using mobile money as a
> general payment system for unbanked populations, at least in sub-saharan
> africa.
> All in one, I agree with you that carrier billing on prepaid could be good
> and easy for merchants, but I'm very doubtful that there will be sudden
> change in the trend.
> cheers
> steph
> --
> Stephane Boyera        stephane@w3.org
> W3C                +33 (0) 6 73 84 87 27
> BP 93
> F-06902 Sophia Antipolis Cedex,
> France

Ricardo Varela -  http://twitter.com/phobeo
"Though this be madness, yet there's method in 't"
Received on Friday, 31 January 2014 15:15:11 UTC

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.4.0 : Friday, 17 January 2020 19:07:27 UTC