Of Special Interest


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8th November 2011

simplytap - mobile purchase by entering just 2 codes

simplytap has launched in the UK. This is a smartphone Ap allowing the fast purchase of items using the mobile phone. The company behind the Ap is Mobile Money Network (MMN), a joint venture including Monitise, Carphone Warehouse and Best Buy Europe.

The principles are simple with the user registering a credit or debit card, name and address with the organisation. When the user sees a MMN product number in an advert, online or on retail premises (if say it is too large to take with them from the premises), they enter the number and a password. Their card is debited and the item is delivered to their home.

The point is made that the customer data generated will offer valuable data-mining for the retailers. There is the inevitable 'targeted' electonic coupon system to the user's phone included. Carphone Warehouse, Best Buy Europe, Thorntons, Goldsmiths, thehut.com, Pretty Green and moreTvicar.com are involved in this first phase with more retailers promised in the near future.

The Ap tackles the difficulty in tackling the shopping basket approach using your mobile phone that can be experienced on many retailers' web sites. The difficulty is in part because some retailers have still to customise their purchase procedures for mobile phones. It is also in part having to enter the same reasonably extensive information on each purchase (Name, Address, Card number etc.). PayPal is an obvious rival to this service although still requires the goods to be selected rather than the use of the product code. It will be interesting to see whether the product can generate the critical mass of retail and consumer support to make it a long lasting contender.

The Ap is currently offered in Android and Apple flavours.

At the same time Best Buy and Carphone Warehouse agreed to scrap their plans for new European megastores and are to close the 11 they have in the UK. Best Buy is also to buy Carphone Warehouse out of the Best Buy Mobile Venture in the US. Both sides appear happy with the US deal which nets Carphone Warehouse £838m and the two plan to develop joint venture stores in developing countries at a faster rate.