BlackBerry to monetize BBM via money transfers, channels, virtual goods

|About: BlackBerry Ltd. (BBRY)|By:, SA News Editor

"Because we are by nature private and secure and reliable and regulatory compliant, we are ideally suited to bring value in mobile money and financial services," says BBM exec  David Proulx. BlackBerry (BBRY +0.9%) has begun trialing a person-to-person BBM money transfer service in Indonesia, and expects to add more countries/services in 2014.

BBM, which now has 85M+ MAUs, will also be monetized via sponsored channels for brands looking to reach out to consumers (BlackBerry introduced BBM Channels last year), and the sale of stickers and other virtual goods through a new BBM store (due to arrive this week through a software update).

Rival messaging platforms such as Naver's Line and Tencent's WeChat are already being monetized via stickers and/or payments. Some platforms are also eying mobile gaming as a revenue stream.

On the other hand, market leader WhatsApp is still taking a minimalist approach, monetizing its service only by setting a $0.99/year subscription fee for certain markets.

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