Belgacom launches PingPing
The acquisition of a 40% stake in Tunz, a Belgian company which holds a European e-money license (cf. Smart Insights #09-13), fits in with Belgacom's innovation strategy to invest even more in the growing mobile micro-payments market. Tunz is a unique open payment platform which offers a wide choice of innovative mobile payment solutions and applications, such as contactless (NFC) payments, national and international person-to-person payments, Internet payments, loyalty, couponing, mobile ticketing, dematerialization of paper bank-transfer forms, etc. The Belgacom Group announces it aims to achieve a rapid breakthrough in mobile micro-payments in other fields.
Belgacom announced partnerships with the following companies:
- Accor Services: electronic Ticket Restaurant via mobile payments,
- Delhaize: pilot project with micro-payments and payment with electronic Ticket Restaurant,
- Coca-Cola: mobile payments at automatic drink dispensers.
Belgacom already has a long history in mobile payment businesses. In 2007, Proximus, in cooperation with De Lijn (the Flemish public transport company), started the SMS ticketing system with which Proximus customers in Antwerp and Ghent can pay for their transport tickets via their mobile phone. In 2008, 226,000 SMS tickets were sold. Today, 1,000 purchases are made per day.In July 2008, in order to further reinforce this line of business, Belgacom took over Mobile-for, a company specialized in mobile payments for parking. Together with Proximus, Mobile-for also introduced SMS parking in Antwerp, Bruges, Hasselt, Tienen, Leuven, Schaarbeek, Lokeren, Wetteren, Turnhout and Diest. In 2008, 1.3 million parking transactions were registered. In 2009, this figure is expected to exceed 2 million, an increase of more than 50%.