To note the rapid growth and massive adoption of Obopay Mobile Payment Services, we are presenting the Dial M for Money Contest. The contest is being hosted on the official Obopay facebook page and will be running for a span of two weeks.
What are we to do, you ask?
We are interested in knowing how open you are to let mobile payments into your life. Obopay has a service whose application is limited only by your imagination. You can tell us the many possibilities in your life where a mobile payment facility would make things easier for you. We are all ears to see how innovative and how practical the ultimate beneficiaries (you) of M-Commerce can be.
- Buy books on the go
- Tickets at the last minute
- Make quick donations
It can be absolutely anything!!
Now why will I be participating, you ask?
Well, there’s a 100 USD prize to be won.
As an appreciation of your effort and helping us understand you better we will be giving away prizes worth the above mentioned amount to every winner.
We are looking at being surprised by your responses and the prizes you win will be a surprise to you as well.
So, if you have had a nagging feeling that your phone can do more for you and if you think you have the one winning suggestion we are looking for click here to participate.
September 9th, 2011
Mobile Money is reaching a tipping point in the US. I just returned from traveling around the world meeting with bankers discussing their successes with mobile. All the bankers I talked to are working on mobile banking. But it isn’t just about the rest of world anymore – it’s happening here in the US as well and it is changing everything.
Today Obopay announced a new offering, Mobile Money for Banks. US banks are beginning to understand how big and transformational mobile will be for their business. And Obopay has developed a bank offering that benefits from our innovation on three continents. It gives the banks what they need to have a strong innovative offering and provides it in a way that they can do a very fast, low cost implementation with a complete mobile money transaction set. 1 month to advanced bank branded mobile money which includes mobile applications, web widgets, and most sought after consumer use cases. Mobile payments have reached a tipping point.
The offering is way beyond bank transfer (repackaging ACH) and traditional niche P2P services. It includes a number of industry firsts for mobile payments, all based on successful use cases we have experienced: the ability for small sellers and cash based merchants to get paid through mobile phone, website or email; instant payments from one family member to another; and P2Ps that are instant and optimized for a mobile experience. Analysts and our primary research confirms that banks must act now to implement a mobile payment program or risk losing this revenue stream to their competitors or non –traditional providers like Paypal, Apple or Mobile Carriers. With Mobile Money for Banks we are giving them the ability to lead not follow.
It is also the culmination of years of experience and these products are a natural extension of our company strategy, since we have been working with banks some time now. Thus far the response has been very positive as we have shared the details with our banks, channel partners like MasterCard and FIS, and with press and analysts.
We have heard the message from our banking partners regarding what they really want – and we have provided it:
- Bank branded and controlled
- Easy and swift implementation
- Inexpensive solution
I am really excited about the market opportunity and our new offering. Mobile Money will be $630B market according to Jupiter by 2014 – and mobile has a track record of being faster and bigger than anyone ever predicts. Proud of our offering and excited to work with banks.
May 11th, 2010
CEO Carol Realini on What’s Next with Obopay and Mobile Payments
Carol Realini, CEO Obopay, Inc.
Carol Realini is the driving force behind Obopay which has allowed customers to send and receive money through mobile phone SMS since 2005. In this exclusive NEXTcast interview, Realini reveals Obopay’s strategy to bring mobile payments to the masses. Listen to the interview
March 9th, 2010
Why did you start Obopay?
The idea for mobile phones to serve as the catalyst to deliver financial services was seeded when I was on a trip in Africa to support social entrepreneurs. I was in Congo (DRC), where the infrastructure was inadequate – power, roads, electricity. Yet in a place where so little worked, mobile phones were connecting large numbers of people who never had a land line.
This was in 2002, when there were only about 1.5 billion mobile phones in the world. It wasn’t obvious to me before that trip, but once I saw how people in Africa were using mobile phones, it became clear that sometime soon everyone in the world would be connected via the mobile phone. Today, there are more than 4 billion people with mobile phones, out of a total world population of 6 billion people. I knew that this was going to transform the world of communications.
Why mobile payments and mobile banking?
When I got home from Africa, I couldn’t stop thinking about mobile phones and banking. It was a simple idea – use the soon-to-be-ubiquitous model phone network to deliver financial services to everyone with a mobile phone. This would give everyone with a mobile phone access to basic banking services –savings, credit and electronic payments.
The idea had two dimensions – first, mobilizing the existing banking products, and second, developing new low cost mobile- based services that would be affordable to the underserved. The potential was huge – about 1 billion traditional consumers and 3 billion underserved. And connecting the two was key since so many of the traditional consumers send money to the underserved.
But, you were in retirement, no?
I was retired from technology, but helping non-profits foster entrepreneurship in developing countries. This non-profit work gave me easy access to other people who were thinking about the potential of mobile financial services. Many connections really came from the microfinance community, they were always talking about technology to propel things forward and mobile payments was one of the special topics at microfinance conferences.
It was not my plan to go back to work. After finishing extensive research, the founding team came together to make our idea a reality. We saw our careers in a different context – the three of us felt very passionate about the potential of mobile financial services and saw our past careers as great preparation for building Obopay.
What’s the connection between what you experienced in the Congo and what you started in the U.S.?
The connection is everyone needs banking. In places like the US, most people have good access – although there is still a large segment of our population that is underbanked (overcharged and underserved). In the U.S., we can give people banking and payments via mobile and do a better job at a lower price for the underserved. For emerging markets/developing countries where the banking infrastructure can be quite weak, mobile will leap frog traditional approaches and be the primary way people do banking.
In most places in the world, the simple act of paying a merchant or holding money you have in a bank is not easy to do and the impact on small business, individuals and families is huge. And, it has all sorts of impact on the economy, personal family and small business success.
What background work did you do to understand the market opportunity what drove you forward to start Obopay?
We did quite a lot of global research to understand what early projects were happening in the world – Korea, Philippeans and Africa. At the time, the most advanced mobile money implementations were in Japan and the Philippines. These implementations were just beginning and were local to those markets but demonstrated the potential. Since then, there have been other successes and proof points, but it was that research project (again I was not going to go back to work) that really propelled me forward to start Obopay. At the end of the research project, I read the research report. At the beginning of reading the research report, my career was behind me and at the end of the research report, my career was in front of me. I got so excited and passionate about the opportunity to leverage the growing number of mobile phones to enable financial services, I just had to come out of retirement and start Obopay.
What did you think would happen with the research if you didn’t start Obopay?
I don’t really know. I thought we would publish the research or maybe get some entrepreneur to take it on. If we just published the research we would never know the full impact of disseminating the information. I probably would have stayed living in Aspen with my husband and become a really great skier. But, that wouldn’t have been nearly as exciting as Obopay. At Obopay, we have the opportunity to empower people’s lives and change the way businesses transact. What could be more meaningful?
In Part 2, we’ll hear from Carol about the “early days of Obopay,” surprising feedback from early investors, and how the Company’s partnerships evolved.
December 1st, 2009
We’ve recently been writing a good number of posts about how small businesses can benefit from a variety of series. We just want to take a quick moment to let you know that Obopay also helps small businesses as the company has a variety of tools for a small (and medium) sized business to accept electronic payments through the business website or from a mobile phone. With Obopay it’s free for the business to receive a payment from a customer who pays the business from their credit or debit card or from their bank account.
Give it a try and let us know what you think on Twitter.
The Obopay Team
November 30th, 2009
We are honored that Navi Radjou, Executive Director of the Centre for India & Global Business at the Judge Business School, University of Cambridge, wrote a glowing piece on the importance of, as he put it, Obopay’s role in “networking international talent, capital, and ideas to meet global demand for new products and services” in today’s Wall Street Journal.
November 11th, 2009
Here’s a recap of press reporting at and surrounding the 2009 Virtual Goods Summit in San Francisco:
“Industry leaders talk top lessons on virtual goods” – Gamasutra.com
“IMVU.com proves fiscal stability while creating a gold standard with virtual worlds” – Examiner.com
“Mobile payments options evolve” – Wireless Week
“Consumers are spending lots of real money on virtual goods” – San Jose Mercury News
“U.S. Virtual Goods Market to Hit $1 Billion This Year” – Digital Media Wire
October 30th, 2009