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Mcommerce is defined as the transaction that can be done by using data connection and wireless device that will result in the transfer of information, goods or services, from/to an organization. M- Commerce services can provide a way for an organization to connect with mobile service provider. The main enablers in this form of commerce are the mobile resident applications and the wireless network. Of the late m-commerce is creating a plethora of commercial opportunities both for the service providers and the organizations. An important factor for designing M-commerce applications and service at an organizational level is to identify the needs of an organization and classify services based on their needs. This paper gives an overview of m-commerce services and challenges in implementation of m-commerce from an organizational perspective.
Keywords: M-commerce; Benefits of M-commerce; M-commerce value chain.
M-Commerce is defined as "use mobile wireless devices for purchasing services, goods or digital content in a secure method. M-commerce services and applications are paving the way for increasingly dynamic and value added services in the future. After realizing the benefits that gained from mobile commerce, many organizations have begun to provide M-Commerce options to their customers in addition to the e-commerce which they already provide.
The different types of services available in the markets are:
Mobile Money Transfer: 'Money transfer' from one person to another through post offices using mobile phones.
Mobile Ticketing: Booking a ticket from the mobile device using mobile services.
Mobile Vouchers, Coupons and loyalty cards: The voucher, coupon, or loyalty card is represented by a virtual token that is sent to the mobile phone. Presenting a mobile phone with one of these tokens at the point of sale allows the customer to receive the same benefits as another customer who has a loyalty card or other paper coupon/voucher. Mobile.
Content purchase and delivery: Purchase and delivery mainly consist of the sale of ringtones, wallpapers, and games for mobile phones.
Location base services: The location of the mobile phone user is an important piece of information used during mobile commerce transactions. Knowing the location of the user allows for location based services such as: Local maps, Local offers, Local weather, People tracking and monitoring
Information services: Include Cricket alert, jokes, Vastu information, stock etc.
Mobile banking: Banks and other financial institutions are exploring the use of mobile commerce to allow their customers to not only access account information, but also make transactions, e.g. purchasing stocks, remitting money, via mobile.
Mobile brokerage: Stock market services offered via mobile devices have also become more popular and are known as Mobile Brokerage. They allow the subscriber to react to market developments in a timely fashion and irrespective of their physical location.
Auctions: Unlike traditional auctions, the reverse auction (or low-bid auction) bills the consumer's phone each time they place a bid.
Mobile Portals: Software is an advanced content adaptation product that helps enterprises and service providers deliver portal content to a broad range of mobile devices, providing customized mobile access to portal solutions and services via a highly navigable, personalized Web experience.
Mobile advertisement and promotions: Mobile marketing is highly responsive sort of marketing campaign, especially from brands' experience point of view.
Mobile education: Training and learning related content for organizations, educational institutions, etc. pushed to users through mobile applications over SMS, WAP, USSD, etc. Examples of existing players: Spice , EnableM, Deltics, G Cube Solutions
Mobile Health: Mobile Health or M-Health is the use of mobile devices in health solutions such as personal apps, patient monitoring systems, updates and alerts, etc Examples of existing players: AIIMS, Apollo, Dr. Batras, Maestros Mediline Systems.
M-Enterprise: M-enterprise model provide applications for mails, ERP solutions, corporate utilities, etc. example of existing player are Examples of existing players:One97 Communications, Spice, RIM (blackberry),Nokia (Mail for exchange), IMI Mobile
Mobile commerce applications and services are classified based in the manner they provide to the mobile users.
The M-Commerce, Service and organization are interlinked with each other and this interlinking of the services force the researcher to develop the business model/Services which not only involve organization day to day works but motivate the organization to use and to do the business over the M-Commerce. M-commerce provides its services predominantly in the areas of banking, marketing and advertising, retail and entertainment, location based services to an organization. On the basis of the organization need, the some of the M-Commerce services from an organization perspective are:
Location based services: The location of mobile phone is important and mobile commerce provides various services that relates to the location based services such as: local weather, local discount offers, tracking and monitoring the user, etc.
Information Services: Mobile commerce applications provide various information services to the mobile phone users such as news, sports scores, financial recordings, share market, traffic report, etc.
Mobile Banking: Banking sectors and other financial institutions use m-commerce to allow their customers to make transactions such as remitting money, access account information, purchasing stocks, etc. This type of service is also referred to as M-Banking or mobile banking.
Marketing and Advertising: In m-commerce, mobile marketing refers to the marketing that sent to the mobile devices. Mobile operators and network operators or other companies use mobile coupons and mobile advertising to connect advertisers with customers. Recent mobile operators have enabled users to search quickly various categories of services and products in their immediate area and they provide access, promotions, discounts, and coupons via their cell phone.
Mobile Browsing: Using the mobile browser, users can access a web browser on a mobile device and it will help customers in online shopping, checking mail, and banking information without a personal computer.
Entertainment: Mobile entertainment includes various content services such as games, music downloads, and ringtones, videos and text based messaging services like audience voting and so on.
The business opportunities and key market drivers for mobile and m-commerce market can be identified by using finding the opportunities of M-Commerce; technology advances; mobile market penetration; customer needs and new business models. Key growth drivers for M-Commerce is from the market standpoint such as application and game purchase, mobile retail spending, in-store contactless payments, mobile advertising, etc. In addition to these some other market drivers for M-Commerce are:
Rising wireless subscriber base and mobile device adoption
Increasing availability of credit and increase in economic advancement and disposable income
Growing demand for the digital contents
Soaring enterprise mobility
Availability and introduction of next generation cellular networks
Changing consumer behavior and demographics
The M-Commerce market drivers and the mobile value chain are depends upon each other because M-Commerce services or application are develop on the basis of recent trends of the market. As developed by Michael E. Porter, it is a connected series of organizations, resources, and knowledge streams involved in the creation and delivery of value to end customers. The process of linking the values to M-Commerce end users may also involve many value providers including mobile network operator, bank, customers, and other possible members. Varshney and Vetter [Varshney, 2000] proposed a four-level integration framework for M-Commerce: M-Commerce applications, wireless user infrastructure, mobile middleware and wireless network infrastructure. M-Commerce application required the support of technology from the foundation of wireless user infrastructure, mobile middleware and wireless network infrastructure [Varshney, 2000].
On the basis of this explored integrated frameworks the mobile commerce value chain can be basically categorized into following roles:
Technology platform vendors: According to (Barnett N, Hodges S, Wilshire M J ,2000), operators in this group deal with the maintenance and operation of base stations, infrastructure, backbone network and facilities the transmission of mobile data between the application service providers and mobile users.
Infrastructure and mobile equipment vendors: According to (Sabbath H K ,2002), the operators manufacture and design all kinds of infrastructure that are required to build the mobile communication networks and mobile phones or any other devices that provides support , GPRS, 3G, WAP or other communication technologies.
Application platform vendors: According to (Kalakota R, Robinson M, 2001), the application platform vendors are the one who plays the role of middleware provider of the value chain. They are responsible for providing pre-built components and also application middleware and wireless middleware to the customers to access the Internet services directly through the mobile devices.
Application developers: The application developers are responsible for converting all internet based applications into wireless environment and also responsible for developing the application software to enrich the content of mobile applications.
Content developers: Content developers are responsible for designing, producing and providing various kinds of services or products for all kinds of customers (Muller-Veerse F,1999).
Content aggregators: Here, the role of operators is to integrate, re-packaging, aggregating and distributing services or products to the customers such as games, news, and financial messages.
Mobile portal providers: Mobile portal providers act as the "gate" to the mobile internet. The role of mobile portal providers is too inborn the limitations of the mobile devices than the portal providers.
3G mobile network operators: According to (Wong R ,2000), 3G mobile network operators play a key role in m-commerce by providing the mobile communication networks. Mobile network operators are generally referred to the telecommunication corporations
Mobile service providers: According to (Barnett N,Hodges S, Wilshire M J ,2000), the mobile application services can be provided to customers will include 2 sections: One is an application service that developed for the mobile networks (search results for example: nearby restaurants) and another one is serviced that based on a wired Internet network (email servers, and network bank).
Mobile equipment retailers: Generally, the mobile equipment retailers are responsible for selling all mobile equipments and mobile retailing related products to the customers. The mobile equipment retailers play the role of distributor for mobile network operators and mobile equipment manufacturers.
Customers: Generally, customers are mainly divided into two types: enterprise users and general consumers.
Challenges in implementing M-commerce services:
Today's customers want communication, commerce and content services that should be accessed anywhere, anytime, on multiple devices. Ease of use, convenience, privacy, flat learning curve and security are considered as the primary concerns of mobile commerce. Mobile technology provides capabilities that make attractive for customers and businesses to invest in the mobile commerce. It is essential to improve the mobile device functionalities as the technology improves and the technology application providers and infrastructure providers should keep up with the new devices, protocols, standards and networks. Mobile commerce customers are demanding more and less patient than the users of e-commerce. Mobile users require various value added services and that should be non-feasible or feasible according to the existing technologies and mobile commerce constraints, such as, ease of use, reliability, performance, security, bandwidth, etc.
Some of the key challenges of mobile commerce areas discussed below:
Wireless Constraints: Developing the content for wireless devices may require rethinking the Web experience. The developers of wireless content must need to start from ground level to develop the content for new devices. Wireless devices tend to provide limited memory, CPU and battery life. Designers and developers need to find the new and innovative techniques to overcome these constraints.
Infrastructure for Wireless Internet: Infrastructure for wireless internet was not developed and the infrastructure that handles the smart card is also not well-established. One of the main problems is that the cost of homes, banks, shops and PC owners to move to smart cards that makes the process fairly slow.
Security: Security of mobile commerce by wireless devices is being considered as a great concern for individuals and businesses.
Future of M-commerce:
Today, mobile phone technology is moving in a new way and trend called mobile commerce. Use of mobile phone and its application has increased more rapidly than any other technologies or devices. People often, demanding for new application and services in mobile. The M-Commerce services is not as popular as E-commerce in an organization perspective due to myth regarding the wireless constraints, security, regulatory issue and dependency on other many other mobile value chain drivers.
The four popular marketing tools of Mobile Commerce are mobile applications or apps, mobile portal, advertising, MMS or SMS or messages. Mobile payments and banking transactions are available through M-Commerce to mobile user and this open up many paths towards the popularity of the services. As the launch of 3G and availability of the tablets, smart phones, and latest applications enabled mobile devices are rapidly increasing which increase 3G penetrations in digital markets. To bring out innovative content, pictures and videos, it is possible to combine all the mobile marketing tools and that will provide successful business operation. Web design is the most important process and it should be implemented in mobile commerce to become successful in business.
The penetration of technologies and applications in the developed world is enhancing various changes in day to day life. This paper provides some divination regarding mobile commerce and future of m-commerce. More and more technologies are evolving in one side and other side there is a huge demand for more and more applications, software and services. Perhaps, mobile commerce is also adding value to the technologies. Probably the most important thing for organizations is that they still consider that it is difficult to demonstrate the strong business like m-commerce projects. Most of the organizations are undertaking the wireless project as a new endeavor.
Mobile commerce services are placing its position in increasingly complex demands on content providers, mobile operators, financial institutions, merchants, and other organizations which are ready to take advantage on the mobile commerce opportunities. To give the adoption of services and applications of mobile commerce, the organization must deliver the advertising and marketing campaigns; comply with the regulatory requirements; manage and secure the mobile environment; manage subscriber preferences, policies and privacy; and create the successful business model. Organizations must concentrate in global intelligence, seasoned practitioners and technologies to address the key requirements of the mobile commerce solutions such as: regulatory compliance; support for mobile payment options; end-to-end security and mobile campaign management.