While previous years were often packed with big revelations and grand announcements, the mobile payments industry seems to have spent this year quietly focusing on expanding services and growing its user base instead. Experts have come to the realization that the “mobile payments revolution” isn’t going to happen overnight – which we have predicted last year – but is rather going to be a long uphill struggle. Nonetheless, we are finally seeing consumer attitudes change and users have started to come.
This is especially the case in emerging markets where payment cards never really rose to dominance. Thus, we have spent this past year focusing on forging strong strategic alliances and deploying our services in some of these countries.
In February, we announced a major deal with Finnet, Indonesia’s leading electronic payment provider. We have been working with them closely ever since to bring new services to the country.
In March, we were awarded the title of Innovative Brand by MagyarBrands, a prestigious national program in our home country of Hungary. The decision had been made by a panel of independent experts and put Cellum among the top business brands in the country.
In April, we announced a brand new solution we call Connected Card. It is based on virtual prepaid cards and is an excellent tool for financial inclusion.
May marked a very important milestone for Cellum: we brought NFC payments to Telenor Wallet, the mobile wallet we develop and operate for Telenor Hungary. The roll-out made Telenor Wallet a truly 360-degree service, covering the “holy trinity” of in-store, in-app and online payments.
We have launched a number of pilots in Asia. In September, Cellum in partnership with Festipay successfully launched the test phase of a digital highway toll collection project in Indonesia with Finnet.
We’ve teamed up with Talk-A-Bot to bring mobile payments to chatbots. Thanks to their integration with Cellum’s secure transaction platform, chatbots by Talk-A-Bot can also complete purchases on users’ behalf, with the user only needing to confirm the transaction using biometric authentication or a personal passcode.
As part of our ongoing efforts to educate the market about mobile payments, we released an infographic in November about mobile payment security. The infographic is available as a free download on our website. Life has a weird sense of humor, as the following day the world learned that Uber was hacked.
Also in November, we announced a new partnership with Metranet, a subsidiary of Indonesia’s telco giant Telkom. Cellum will help Metranet achieve its mission of becoming the most reliable monetizing partner in Indonesia’s online industry.
Finally, we just announced another strategic partnership, this time with Signapore-based TransferTo. They provide international remittance and airtime top-up services, which we look forward to utilizing in the mobile wallets we develop for our partners.
It was truly a busy and exciting year for Cellum, and we are not likely to be bored anytime soon, as there are already new events on the horizon for us. We are looking forward to sharing these news with you in the near future, so make sure you follow us on Twitter, LinkedIn or Facebook. We wish everyone happy holidays and we’ll see you in the new year.