Back in February, GoMo News reported on the upcoming arrival of Ericsson’s mobile money service, imaginatively titled Ericsson Money. Having spent over two years in development, the product is now available in seven major European countries.
What’s the story?
Ericsson owns over one third of all the telecoms equipment that mobile operators run their networks on around the world. Ericsson Money will allow anyone to send money across its unequalled worldwide equipment base as easily as they would send a text message. Money gets uploaded to an Ericsson mobile wallet through your credit or debit card, and from there you can transfer money to any other mobile wallet owner. If you link your mobile wallet to the Ericsson Money PrePaid MasterCard, you can even make purchases with those funds through your MasterCard.
What’s the plan?
For now, Ericsson Money is available only in the UK, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Poland and Sweden. The rest of Europe should be included soon. It will also build out further services – instead of being limited to mobile transfer, and what is effectively a way to mobi-load your MasterCard, there will also be options for bill payment, mobile shopping and the ability to link with other mobile money services.
What we think?
I’m looking forward to seeing where Ericsson goes with this. One thing does strike me about it though – Ericcson has always claimed that the reason it sat on this service for over two years was to ensure that it would roll out as a whole and complete service. But the roll-out just announced is for a very skimpy product portfolio, in only seven countries. There are a ton of mobile money services hitting the shelf out there, including major moves from Visa and Monitise. It would have been better for Ericsson if they had a bigger, more comprehensive product at launch – but as long as they get updates out there soon, I think this could be a serious runner.