Mobile payments specialist Upaid today announced the national launch of its Mobile Payment Service (MPS) marketing campaign in Serbia.
Including all three mobile operators and 10 banks in Serbia, this national launch is an expansion on a service started in October 2006 with Visa International and Serbian mobile operator Mobile Telekom Serbia (MT:S).
Serbia is the third in a series of markets to sign up to the mobile payment service, with operators in Jordan and Morocco already using Upaid's innovative payment platform.
Customers of all three Serbian mobile operators: Telekom Serbia (MT:S), Telenor and Vip mobile, who register their Visa cards to the service will be able to recharge (top-up) their mobile phones instantly with a simple SMS message. They can also use an SMS message to recharge (top-up) the prepaid phones of friends and family against the same card. Upaid anticipates increasing the portfolio of its services with the operators in the future.
MT:S has been using this service for the past year, Vip mobile launches the service today, while Telenor is finalizing the pilot stage, ready for live transactions in November.
All customers of the MPS consortium of banks in Serbia who have Visa payment cards and a mobile phone service can sign up to the enhanced service at no cost, setting a new standard for recharge services in Serbia.
The MPS consortium is currently made up of 10 banks and all three mobile operators in Serbia, and like the operators they represent, the consortium includes a mix of local and international banks such as Continental, Komercijalna and Piraeus, as well as Austria's Raiffeisen, France's Société Générale, Greece's Alpha bank and Italy's Banca Intesa. Together they represent over 75% of card holders, and more banks have applied to join.
Banks will be including MPS in their own marketing campaigns from November, using the MPS marketing materials, through the end of this year.
Together, these banks and operators are cooperating to bring a full mobile payments system to the country's 6.6 million phone users.
Upaid has provided consortium members with a marketing toolkit to ensure a coherent national marketing campaign, and leads this effort with print and billboard campaign starting October 30th and running through the end of 2007.
Upaid has also created and launched an informational website in English and Serbian for customers to learn how to practically use the MPS service.
The MPS site contains instructional demos on how to top-up mobile phones with each mobile operator, and how to contact banks to sign up for the service.
"Compared to other recharge options, such as electronic recharge in shops, or scratch cards, mobile service gives consumers the freedom to top-up instantly and independently at shops and merchants. We are delighted to see more banks and operators signing up to this service. Upaid has been instrumental in our expansion in the Serbian market and we hope to repeat and even exceed the success we had in Jordan and Morocco here in Serbia", said Jean-Marc-Tonti, Vice President, South East Europe, Visa CEMEA.
Since our successful launch of this service with Visa and Upaid last year, we are delighted to see the consortium of banks grow to make the Mobile Payment Service offered to all our customers, regardless of their respective banks. We look forward to rolling out the next services in the project, namely mobile bill payment" said Jelena Stojanovic, Head of Marketing and Sales Department at mt:s.
"We are very glad to join the Mobile Payment Service consortium and to offer this recharge payment option to our subscribers. We are dedicated to providing the best possible services and technological advances for our customers to ensure our competitive advantage is maintained," said Branko Bajic, Product Manager Payment, Marketing Acquisition.
Vip mobile comments:
"We are happy to offer our mobile customers the freedom to top-up instantly and independently from their phones anytime and anywhere, even when abroad, simply by sending a message from the handset. This new payment service confirms our commitment to provide best possible mobile services for our customers", say Dragana Roter, Head of Corporate Communications.
Terence Trench, Senior Vice President of Commercial Operations at Upaid said: "Since launching this service a year ago, we have seen great progress in the Serbian market, and have expanded to include 10 banks and growing. With the addition of mobile operators such as Telenor and Vip mobile, to our service already offered by mt:s, we are confident that we will reach the majority of Serbian mobile users and Visa card holders. This market is perfect for Upaid to roll out additional services in the future, such as utility payments."
There are currently 2.2 million Visa card holders in Serbia, a large proportion of which will have access to the new Upaid service.
Serbia has 6.6 million mobile phone users, and a population of 7.6 million.