|dc.description.abstract||The payment services industry has seen great changes the last decades, with mobile
phones emerging as a new means for performing payments. Originating from
simple services provided to the unbanked in undeveloped markets, advanced services
have emerged inmost parts of the world. Banks, telecom operators and other
third party companies are rapidly launching new and innovative payment service
to capitalize on a growing trend. Mobile payment services now reach over 100 million
active users worldwide, and is expected to become even more widespread in
the coming years.
As mobile payment services are new in most markets, theoretical knowledge
on the subject remains relatively limited. Conducting research to heighten
the understanding on the manner is therefore considered important to both
researchers and practitioners.
This master thesis addresses mobile payment services through three consecutive
parts. The first part proposes a theoretical framework for the analysis of mobile
payment services, based on a literature review and practitioners feedback. The
second part applies the proposed framework to existing Telenor mobile payment
services and assesses its general applicability. Following the assessment, minor
adjustments to the framework are made. In the last and final part of the thesis,
the framework is used for screening potential mobile payment service designs for
Bulgaria, suggesting it is an attractive market for Telenor.
A Proposed Framework for Analysis
A literature review and multiple iterations with practitioners resulted in a
framework consisting of two parts. The first part represents the context, or
environment, surrounding a mobile payment service, and is based on the well
established contingency theory. In this theory, the market context is grouped
into four contingency environments, namely the (1) social/cultural, (2) commerce,
(3) technological, and (4) legal, regulatory and standardization environments, and is
further decomposed into 12 factors.
The second part of the framework is a conceptualization of mobile payment
services through a set of three service design dimensions, encompassed by the four
contingency theory environments. The three service design dimensions are (1)
end user functionality, (2) technology, and (3) interoperability. End user functionality
refers to what payment functionalities the service offers its customers. Technology
refers to the communication technology used to connect the sender and receiver of
payments. Finally, interoperability refers to how mobile payment services interact
with other parts of the financial ecosystem. Within each service design dimension
the practitioners can choose from several options.
The contingency theory factors will guide the practitioner to what options are
viable in a given market context. The framework s appropriate application is
therefore to aid in the screening of potential service designs.
Testing and Revising the Framework
The proposed framework is tested on existing Telenor mobile payment services, in
order to assess its general applicability to these services. This is performed through
a series of practitioner interviews and a study of the Serbian mobile payment
service environment. The findings enable a comparison between practitioners
approach to designing mobile payment services and that of the framework. The
comparison reveals several interesting insights. First, the 12 contingency theory
factors provide a solid foundation for understanding the environments impact on
mobile payment services design, as they corresponded well with the factors the
practitioners report as influential.
Second, only two of the service design dimensions are considered highly relevant
by practitioners, namely end user functionality and interoperability. With regards
to the technology dimension, practitioners suggest an alteration in its scope is
necessary for it to be equated with the other dimensions. Additionally, several
other potential relevant dimensions are also suggested by practitioners. As such,
we conclude that end user functionality and interoperability form a basis for all
service designs, and that other dimensions can be added to the set at practitioners
discretion. The framework is revised to reflect these insights.
Assessing the Bulgarian Market
Based on the revised framework, an assessment of the Bulgarian mobile payment
services market is conducted. The assessment shows that all examined end
user functionalities are viable options in Bulgaria. Further, the existing financial
infrastructure allows for satisfying interoperability. We therefore conclude that the
Bulgarian market for mobile payment services represents an interesting business
opportunity for Telenor.
Due to limitations of the study, the framework can only be considered a first step
towards a fully verified analysis framework. On this basis, several opportunities
for further research are identified.||en