The Launching of a European Hub for M-commerce

by Helena Stromgren on June 21, 2012

Road signWe have said it before: Successful place managers must open up their places for demo-activities. The demo dimension has become an attraction factor. Companies and innovators need to verify their theories and achievements. They need to do that in a business climate where the time factor is vital. They need to save time in their strife to enter the market. This is the reason behind the trend which we call the “European demo-site paradigm”.

M-commerce, or mobile commerce where the mobile smart phones are used as the platform for mobile payment transactions, represents one of the many current “disruptive technologies”. The challenge for tele-operators, banks, retail industries and many others is to understand when an M-commerce application will be well received and perhaps called a “killer application”. Whether or not an application is welcomed is not easy to predict in a theoretical context. There are behavioral facts and figures – often with a high complexity – forming the decisive factors behind failure or success.

In order to capture the complex universe of pros and cons, mobile stakeholders need demonstration sites where various end-users are testing and verifying the M-commerce possibilities in real life situations. Exactly here we find the inspiration behind the launch last week of the M-commerce demo-site in the city of Trollhättan (55.000 citizens) in West Sweden. The city administration has understood the value of a demo-site. Already before the launching events a number of prioritized new M-commerce applications have been identified:

  • Mobile services and payments for the 11.500 students at the University West is the first area for the demo-site. Local service providers have been invited and the University West has given the project its full support.
  • The local utility, Trollhättan Energy, with its over 20.000 subscribers, has envisaged mobile applications as a tool to strengthen loyalty, etc. In the forefront stand services which can visualize the link between consumption of heat and electricity on the one hand and on the other how to change your daily consumption pattern. In addition, there is a link to cost dimensions and the billing. Naturally, several interesting sustainability aspects are inherent in the equation.
  • Elderly people might have problems to handle the small display on the mobile phone. It is especially important that senior people can trust all the details when it comes to payment transactions. Therefore it has been decided from the start to demonstrate how the TV-set can be used more actively.

iphoneWe are convinced that more demo-sites with M-commerce will emerge in Europe in the years to come. The basic precondition, with important content providers within the place being involved has now been secured. We will certainly continue to report about the findings during the 3 years ahead when the first project time runs.

Follow this link to read an interview about M-commerce in TTELA, the local newspaper in Trollhättan

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