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Mobio expands mobile payments platform to Android

Mobio Identity Systems Inc. has released its flagship mobile payments application for all Android phones operating on OS v1.6 and up.

This enables Android-powered devices from handset manufacturers such as HTC, Motorola, Samsung, Sprint and Google to access the mobile payment and identity management capabilities found on the Mobio iPhone application. It gives Android users instant access to all Mobio-enabled merchants and exclusive contests and promotions.

Mobile Commerce Daily’s Dan Butcher interviewed Mark Binns, chief marketing officer of Mobio Identity Systems, Vancouver, BC. Here is what he had to say:

What is Mobio’s strategy behind the launch of the application for Android?
The timing is ideal—research firm NPD Group reported this week that Android was installed in 44 percent of all smartphones purchased in 2010’s third quarter, seriously challenging Apple’s iOS market share.

Android is the fastest-growing smartphone OS in the world. In overall numbers, it is expected to surpass iPhone and BlackBerry quickly.

Android owners are also very tech-savvy and early-adopters—a perfect segment for the cutting-edge technology of Mobio.

What is the target demographic?
Early technology adopters, app users and 25-55-year-old smartphone owners.

Please provide a list of Mobio-enabled merchants. What challenges does Mobio address for them?
Participating merchants include the NFL’s Jacksonville Jaguars, Mount Sinai Hospital Foundation of Toronto and Habitat for Humanity Greater Vancouver, as well as other local businesses in the U.S. and Canada.

We are also in negotiations with a number of new merchants—including sports franchises and financial services groups—but cannot disclose names until contracts are finalized.

Mobio solves multiple challenges:

? Data collection—every transaction can collect customer data or feedback

? Mobile sales—sell something anywhere a barcode can be printed – untie the merchant from the physical POS

? Line avoidance—lines slow business. Mobio allows people to avoid lines by ordering in seat at a game or on the go for pickup

? Security and convenience—it gives their customers a convenient way to interact and a secure way to pay them

? Personalization—Mobio enable merchants to offer specific personalized offers to their customers, because Mobio is a closed-loop payment system and each user has a profile in the application

For example, merchants can offer a discount to people born on Dec. 15 because the app knows each user’s birthday.

How will Mobio and its clients/partners get the word out about the app?
Mobio will adopt PR and standard advertising models.

Mobio will partner with its clients to bar-code-enable their existing marketing campaigns, returning value for the merchant and also exposure for Mobio—a win-win.

Yes, Mobio will be doing ads online and in the mobile space, AdMob being one example [of a mobile ad network partner].

What is the current state of mobile payments, and what is its potential?
Mobile payments is a burgeoning space. The potential is huge.

Various forms of alternative payments, especially mobile, could account for 20 percent of transactions by 2012, up from 2 percent now.

Mobile payment has been well adopted in many parts of Europe and Asia.

The combined market for all types of mobile payments is expected to reach more than $600 billion globally by 2013, according to Juniper Research.

Juniper forecasts total mobile payments to grow nearly ten-fold by 2013.

Final Take
Dan Butcher, associate editor, Mobile Commerce Daily