RIM might be on to something brilliant or they may simply be smoking the good stuff with this new idea. They have announced a plan to create a new mobile gifting platform that will work with App World to allow customers to instantly “gift” airtime, apps, and other carrier services to another subscriber. If this was simply the ability for customers to buy a App World gift card or buy an app as a gift I would say the feature was long overdue. Instead it looks like it will be tied in to BBM and what’s the story with gifting airtime? I can understand RIM’s case for customers to use it to buy airtime for prepaid phones but something tells me carriers will not be happy giving a cut to App World.
Either way its nice to see RIM starting to think outside the box. What do you think of the new announced platform?
RIM Announces Plans to Provide Carriers with new BBM Mobile Gifting Platform
New mobile gifting platform will integrate with BlackBerry App World and carrier billing systems to allow BlackBerry subscribers to instantly gift airtime, apps and other carrier services from one subscriber to another using BBM
MOBILE WORLD CONGRESS, BARCELONA, SPAIN–(Marketwire – Feb. 14, 2011) – Research In Motion (RIM) (NASDAQ:RIMM)(TSX:RIM) today announced plans for an innovative mobile gifting platform for carriers that will allow one authorized BlackBerry(R) subscriber to use their post-paid or pre-paid account to conveniently, securely and instantly approve and pay for airtime, apps or other carrier services requested by another BlackBerry subscriber.
The innovative BBM mobile gifting platform will integrate with BlackBerry App World(TM) and carrier billing systems and allow the gifting requests and approvals to be handled directly between the BlackBerry subscribers using BBM(TM) (BlackBerry(R) Messenger) with transactions that are secure, authenticated and non-repudiable. The platform will also allow carriers to more easily sell airtime to BlackBerry prepaid subscribers (for the subscriber’s own use).
"RIM is committed to aligning with carrier business models to deliver innovative and relevant mobile commerce solutions," said Jim Balsillie, Co-CEO at RIM. "There will be many usage scenarios and circumstances that can be accommodated through the BBM mobile gifting platform around the world, but the easiest for many people to readily envision and appreciate is the simplified act of a parent approving their child’s request for additional airtime minutes or an app purchase with a single click using BBM."
The introduction of such convenient and tightly integrated services based on the BBM mobile gifting platform will enhance mobile commerce and enable carriers to provide unique value to their customers. BlackBerry subscribers will be able to buy or gift airtime, apps and other carrier services and charge the purchases to their existing postpaid or prepaid account, or alternatively pay for the purchases through various other payment methods.