Analysis of business opportunities for BlueSIM - a novel mobile payment service
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The financial landscape of the world is in flux, and one of the main drivers is the mobile phone, becoming an increasingly important tool for financial activities. Mobile Payment Services (MPS), referring to payment for goods and services using a mobile device, have achieved wide enthusiasm across the industry ever since its first introduction. However, MPS still have a long way left to gain the anticipated scale. This thesis focuses on BlueSIM, a novel mobile payment service enabling transfers between customers and merchants through the use of an unique technological solution developed by Telenor Research and SIMLINK. The thesis aims to (1) identify BlueSIM s main competitive advantages, (2) recommend which Asian country holds the most promising conditions for BlueSIM to launch and operate successfully in, and (3) construct a business model tailored to BlueSIM. These three tasks constitute the problem description and will be answered by address- ing three research questions (RQs). The thesis is divided into three parts each concerned with one RQ, leading to a natural segmentation of our work. Part I: Analysis of BlueSIMThrough research, interviews and preliminary feedback regarding BlueSIM, a comprehensive picture of BlueSIM is obtained. After a thorough comparison with other payment solutions, three distinct characteristics emerge as BlueSIM s competitive advantages before other payment solutions. We reveal that these competitive advantages are its low associated cost, its high level of convenience and high level of security. All of these competitive advantages apply to both merchants and customers. Part II: Country Overview AnalysisIn order to suggest which country holds the most promising conditions for BlueSIM s successful launch and operation, an assessment framework based on Dahlberg et al. (2007) is constructed. The field of MPS is complex, which is why the framework distinguishes between four different environments within a country: The Social/Cultural, Legal, Technical and Commercial Environment. Four countries are analyzed in turn according to these four environments. The countries investigated are Bangladesh, India, Myanmar and Pakistan, as requested by Telenor Norway. The analysis reveals that the Bangladeshi population has the highest trust in MPS, the highest share of registered users within MPS, an acceptable level of satisfaction with current MPS services, and a high portion of smartphone users within the target segment. As a result, we conclude that Bangladesh is the most promising country to facilitate a successful launch operations of BlueSIM. While Myanmar also holds promising conditions for the service, the regulatory environment is too underdeveloped to be suitable. However, we suggest that further research could investigate the MPS opportunities of Myanmar, once more enabling regulations are in place. Part III: Business Model AnalysisFor each of the nine building blocks of Osterwalder s Business Model Canvas (BMC), we assemble relevant international research pertaining to the field of MPS. Based on this research, we discuss the most suitable solutions for BlueSIM on all fields covered by the BMC. The result is a comprehensive business model, providing suggestions and recommendations pertaining to customer segments, value proposition, channels, relationships, revenue streams, resources, activities, partnerships and cost structure. The most prominent recommendations include (1) partnering with MobiCash to exploit its extensive agent network, its partner s recognized brand name and simultaneously fulfilling the requirement of being bank-led, (2) only charging merchants to use of the service, and (3) utilizing a merchant acquirer to set up a merchant network. Additionally, we recommend that the target merchant segment includes merchants who are accessible and comfortable using new technology. Target customers are characterized as middle-class, urban inhabitants, owning a BLE-compatible mobile phone. As our work faces the time constraints of a five-months master thesis and the evaluated service has not been launched at the time of writing, we recommend testing the business model in practice to verify or improve the business model further. On this basis, several opportunities for further research are identified.