BBM mobile payments are headed to Africa

blackberry messenger bbm mobile payments

BlackBerry has now announced that it intends to start in Nigeria and work outward with its transaction tech.

The recovering Canadian handset maker, BlackBerry, has announced that it has plans to make it possible for BBM users in Africa to be able to use a mobile payments service that will let them send money or airtime.

The service will launch in Nigeria and will make these transactions “as simply as they transfer photos or files.”

This is a part of a broader strategy that BlackBerry has been making into the mobile payments environment, particularly in emerging economies throughout the world. The company has explained that in Nigeria as well as in South Africa, the number of new BBM users installing every month is more than a half million. It believes that this will make it possible for “a network effects [to] take root in several markets across the continent.”

These figures, as well as several others, have led the company to feel it can be successful in mobile payments in Africa.

blackberry messenger bbm mobile paymentsFor instance, BlackBerry has also been experiencing 10 million monthly visits to the BBM Shop and it has an average of more than 26 million ad requests each day. These solid figures suggest that in Nigeria and South Africa, the company is seeing its two largest “global opportunities” in terms of the potential for its smartphone payments service. BlackBerry released a statement that also added that even though both Nigeria and South Africa “are seen as developing economies, they are some of our top revenue-generating markets.”

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Smartphone based payment transactions are already a feature that is offered to the company’s customers in Indonesia. That country is also considered to be an emerging economy with a population of around 250 million people. Within that nation, BlackBerry has a consistent percentage of loyal customers. That said, these economies are not without competition for both messenger apps and mobile wallets.

BlackBerry’s first steps into mobile payments were taken in June 2014, when it entered into a three year contract with the smartphone payments firm, EnStream, which is a joint venture among the top Canadian wireless carriers.

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