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NFC plays second fiddle to advertising in UK mobile consortium plans

29 October 2012  |  8340 views  |  2 smartphone

NFC payments are to play second fiddle to mobile advertising in the business model drawn up by the Project Oscar consortium of UK wireless operators, who have rebranded their combined platform as Weve.

Originally pitched as a SIM-based platform for mobile payments, the operators behind Weve - Everything Everywhere, O2 and Vodafone - have recalibrated their offering to concentrate instead on a building a clearing house for business-to-consumer mobile marketing.

The Weve holding page plays down the payments angle and instead focuses on the benefits of a single standard platform for mobile advertising and the delivery of loyalty discounting and voucher redemption.

"Weve joins up every disparate link in the m-commerce chain with a virtuous circle of mobile interactions designed to make life easier for businesses and consumers," reads the home page mission statement. "Everything from the consumer opt-in process to text-based, rich media and app-based promotions, voucher integration / redemption schemes and comprehensive payments and loyalty processes are designed to feed back into this circle; ensuring that the more participants there are, the more efficient and innovative the system becomes."

The operators - who account for 80% of UK mobile users - still have designs on the payments market, but realise that the fight for market share and revenue in this segment will be a tougher play than the creation of an ad-based equivalent to Google on the handset.

Comments: (2)

Rob Davies
Rob Davies - Proxama - Norwich | 30 October, 2012, 14:18

It's encouraging to see these three global network brands recognising the power in driving uptake of NFC through marketing sales incentives and branded content to consumers - something we have been saying for a long time.

Why? Because with NFC we need to get people to start using it and the best way to do that is to offer incentives to do so. Many people are unaware of whether or not their mobile has NFC capabilities and need to be educated about the technology. Once they see offers appearing on outdoor media posters, point of sale displays in retailers or on product packaging they will want to try it for themselves.

An important first step is to make consumers feel comfortable using the technology and engaging with their favourite brand via their mobile is a great way to do this. Payment of goods via a mobile wallet will then be a natural second step in the adoption process.

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Ketharaman Swaminathan
Ketharaman Swaminathan - GTM360 Marketing Solutions - Pune | 31 October, 2012, 10:42

Looks like there's growing realization that offers and redemption make a more compelling value proposition for NFC than payments. However, these companies are kidding themselves if they think it's going to be simpler creating this business, since an "equivalent to Google on the handset" already exists, and it's called Google. According to Fact # 9 in this article about Google Ads, "Google dominates mobile search advertising, taking 97% of mobile search spend".

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