Telecom Lead Europe: IBM announced that Hungarian m-payment solutions provider Cellum Group has selected IBM Flex System to bring advanced mobile payment services to the market.
Cellum is the largest provider of m-payment solutions in Hungary, with more than a million mobile payment transactions per month and significant growth in the total numbers of customers using their services.
Cellum Group services range from the re-charging of pre-paid mobile accounts, bill payment, e-commerce checkout, m-commerce for retail, and transfer of funds from one account to another.
According to Jeff McAllister, SVP Sales for Cellum, twelve percent of Hungarian mobile subscribers currently use their cell phones at least twice a week to pay for services including; parking fees, highway tolls, and lottery tickets.
The number of consumers using mobile devices to visit retail sites and make purchases is a growing global trend. During the recent “Black Friday” shopping period, mobile purchases soared with 24 percent of consumers using a mobile device to visit a retailer’s site, up from 14.3 percent in 2011. Mobile sales exceeded 16 percent, up from 9.8 percent in 2011, according to IBM.
“Service providers and retailers are starting to realize that new m-payment solutions can make shopping much more convenient given there are enough accepting points of sale and the payments are secure,” said Balazs Inotay, chief strategy officer of Cellum Global.
“Mobile payments actually represent a new sales channel that combines payment, shopping and loyalty in the same package,” Inotay added. “Retailers can target customers and promote goods and services as the codes in the catalogues lead directly to the online shop.”
To meet these demands, Cellum needed to upgrade its IT infrastructure. Working with Business Partner USER Rendszerhaz, IBM designed and implemented a system built on IBM Flex System.
“The IBM Flex System provides the security, flexibility and integration capabilities that will help Cellum Group introduce more efficient m-payment solutions while lowering payment processing costs,” said Zsolt Veres, country general manager, IBM Hungary. “This system provides the infrastructure for Cellum to rapidly deliver additional m-payment applications and bring new mobile innovations to Hungarian consumers.”
Cellum Group plans to launch its enhanced m-payment services for its subscribers in Hungary in January 2013, with similar services soon to be launched in Bulgaria, Albania and Austria.