14 Jul 2015

A Quiet Giant of Mobile Commerce: Carrier Commerce – a weekly blog series by John BaRoss

Mobile Commerce. Mobile Payments. Mobile Wallets. Mobile Money … these are some of the more commonly used terms for the hottest industry (Payments) in the broader “FinTech” industry – an industry that some refer to as the hottest industry in today’s global economy (as the world continues advancing to a ubiquitous digital economy). In late June 2015 Accenture reported that global investment in financial technology tripled to $12.2 billion. Of that total, over half the value of those investments was in the FinTech industry of ‘Payments’ (with a quarter in the FinTech industry of ‘Lending’ and the balance spread across a variety of other FinTech industries).

At a March 2015 annual payment industry conference held on the grounds of Harvard University in Boston, Massachusetts, discussions with several leaders of mobile wallet companies in the payment industry of FinTech acknowledged an interesting reality: Even among leaders in the payment industry one will not find a universal definition of a mobile wallet. Related to this notion, those who closely monitor the mobile commerce space (of course along with casual observers who may see occasional headlines about marquee firms making in this area), will find the above terms used interchangeably at times when in fact there are important distinctions.

Without understanding the distinctions, there often are times that the general media, as well as even the industry media and industry leaders, report and/or make statements that inadvertently exclude key sub-sectors of the payment industry that is mobile commerce. For the purposes of this blog series I will calibrate terminology by also framing these common industry terms in the context of a hierarchy-graph you can have a look at next week! Yours John BaRoss!

John first got involved in carrier commerce near the dawn of monetizing the internet in the mid-1990s with AT&T’s premium 900 ‘voice-commerce’ business unit. He led a collaboration with AT&T Labs for microbilling that launched in 1999 as ClickAT&T – supporting recurring and/or ad hoc eCommerce transactions.  Next he was on governance leadership of a AT&T-Accenture JV that planned, launched and scaled AT&T PrePaid WebCents with 3rd Party VAS deals. After then he joined ClickandBuy LLC (known by some at the time as the PayPal of Europe) and did multi-million dollar licensing/outsourcing deals with global carriers. When ClickandBuy exited partnering with carriers he jumped to Amdocs QPass Digital Commerce where he envisioned and executed a strategic alliance with a carrier billing clearinghouse to create a differentiated ecosystem that won new carrier business. Recruited into India’s outsourcing industry in recent years to help them grow into eCommerce, he has done deals with Internet Retailer Top 500 while developing deeper global insights into global carrier commerce.

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Charlotte Newby

Charlotte Newby
Head of Corporate Communications
DIMOCO Corporate Headquarters

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