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Micropayments by mobile

Are there US equivalents of Vodafone and BT?

     
11:53 am on May 8, 2002 (gmt 0)

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Two new micropayments telephone-based services recently opened here in the UK - Vodafone as seen here [mpay-bill.vodafone.co.uk] and BT [url=www.bt.com/micropayment]here[/url]. Trouble is 90% of my site's visitors are from the US. Does anyone know of any mainstream mobile or telephone micropayment systems that cover the US?
3:52 pm on May 13, 2002 (gmt 0)

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I'm not sure that there is a mobile service that covers the whole of the US. I'm fairly sure that there is a good degree of commonality in standards used in the US, but due to the fragmented nature of service provision, that would make it difficult to set up a system with a good reach.

Obviously, that makes it difficult to create a national service. That same lack of truly national coverage would likely be a barrier to consumer take-up, which in turn reduces the willingness of the regional operators to consider any sort of scheme.

I think your best bet may be a series of regional agreements. Look at the geographic spread of your US vsitors (cross matched with who buys if possibe) and try to discover which cities/states are bringing you business. Find out who the local mobile players are, and whether they have any micropayment systems in place.

The ODP is usually a good starting point [search.dmoz.org].

Maybe some of the US members know more about the specifics of who operates where, and which services are offered could offer more insight

2:55 pm on May 15, 2002 (gmt 0)

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Thanks for that TallTroll. That sounds a bit daunting though. Here in the UK, there's a lot of buzz at the moment surrounding micropayments, subscriptions and donations. I'm using PayPal on my site quite successfully, but I think most of my audience is too young have credit cards so I'm missing them. Are there any emerging ideas in this area from the US if not mobile phones?
5:25 pm on May 15, 2002 (gmt 0)

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I haven't heard anything about cell phone micropayment services in the US... and even if one service provider had a system for it, it would be unlikely to be nationwide, and there are so many different service providers...

The larger companies (ATT, Sprint, etc) do offer *almost* nationwide phone service, but data/internet phone service is much more limited, geographically. Here in Alaska I can't get anything more than basic phone service, and not even from any of the big national companies.

All in all, we still use our cellphones mostly for talking over here...