In February, BlackBerry (BBRY) together with Monitise Asia Pacific (part of the Monitise Group of the U.K.) and Permata Bank of Indonesia, launched BBM Money in Indonesia, that allows for P2P (peer-to-peer) money transfer and mobile payments.
Monitise announced that the service currently has about 60,000 registered users and the service is on track to have 200,000 registered users by the end of 2013.
BBM Money gives BlackBerry Messenger customers the ability to instantly create and access a Mobile Money account from their BlackBerry smartphone and make real-time payments to BBM contacts who are also signed up to the service. The service also enables users to buy mobile airtime credit and transfer money to bank accounts.
The real unique aspect of this service is that BBM Money can be used by consumers with access to the service regardless of whether they have a Permata Bank bank account. Another unique feature is that is allows users to be in chat mode, while at the same time make P2P transfers and payments during the conversation.
However, the good news for BlackBerry does not stop here. There is speculation that when BBM becomes cross-platform for Google's (GOOG) Android and Apple's (AAPL) iOS, then users of these devices will also be able to use the BBM Money service like BlackBerry users in Indonesia do today. If there is wide spread adoption of BBM Money in Indonesia, I think this sets the stage for BlackBerry to get a very large percent of the electronic payments business in the Indonesian market,
In addition, Indonesia will also set the stage for BlackBerry to copy this strategy to many other developing countries around the world. While electronic payments are a given in the U.S. and in Europe, that is not the case in many countries around the world, where a PC is still not in every home.
While BlackBerry does not seem to currently make any money from this service, is it definitely a thumbs up for BlackBerry devices and BBM itself. In fact, if and when BBM goes cross-platform, there is a good chance that BBM Money might even compete with Paypal in Indonesia. In any case, I assume BlackBerry has bigger plans for BBM, but that we just don't know about them yet.
A few days ago Reuters reported that the New York City Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications intends to deploy some 2,000 BlackBerry 10 smartphones by this summer, while one of Canada's top banks, BMO Financial Group, endorsed BlackBerry 10 as its platform of choice.
Online bank ING Direct is piloting BlackBerry's BB10 operating system on 300 Z10 and Q10 smartphones, along with BlackBerry Enterprise Server 10 (BES10) to manage its fleet of mobile devices.
Toronto-based Canadian Tire decided to issue its 3,000 employees corporate-owned BlackBerry 10 devices. Most of the employees are going with the Q10 -- and its physical keyboard - instead of the Z10. The firm is using the BlackBerry Balance security feature, which requires the deployment of the BlackBerry Enterprise Service 10.
According to sources, Verizon (VZ) has made its 10,000 employees switch from Android to Blackberry. Both Verizon Wireless and AT&T are on positive tracks for the use and adoption of BlackBerry Q10 and BES 10.1. It has also been predicted that Verizon Communications and AT&T (T) will select BES 10.1 for their MDM choice to customers.
These are just a few of the headlines that I have seen the past week showing an ever increasing adoption and penetration of BlackBerry 10 (both devices and BES 10) in the enterprise. Granted BlackBerry is not there yet and it is a constant uphill battle, however keep in mind that the transformation of BlackBerry has only just begun.
Many say that BlackBerry will lose service revenue because people don't need to pay BlackBerry anymore to have their email. That might be true, but if BlackBerry can gain enterprise customers, that will more than offset the loss of service revenue from individuals. And from the looks of things, BlackBerry is winning that race, slowly but surely.
In addition, the BBM Money service in Indonesia opens up many possibilities that we can't even begin to comprehend at the current time. For if the cross-platform version of BBM proves to be a success, then there is a lot of money to be made by BlackBerry in the P2P money transfer and payments business.
And if Indonesia proves a success, then that opens the door wide open for P2P mobile transfer and payment service revenue in many other markets around the world, both in developing and developed markets.