Mobile commerce has entered into finance, retail, telecommunication, healthcare, information technology, sales and services. Need for M-commerce has increased multi-fold in recent times. Some of the applications of mobile commerce are briefly discussed below.
1. M-Commerce for finance
The customer (using the mobile) can pay from their bank account using mobile commerce facilities. Mobile users can transfer funds between account or receive any information related to finance from financial institutions or banks. WAP based mobile devices allow the user to access the internet or the website of the financial institutions.
For example, a user of the credit card gets reminded from the institution stating the amount of outstanding balance, minimum amount due and the due date. Likewise, when the customer pays through cheque or when the payment is made by him, the institution sends an acknowledgement through SMS stating the amount that has been received by the institution.
For example, ICICI Bank has launched iMobile. iMobile allows the customers to carry out all internet banking transactions through mobile phones. Customers can transfer funds to ICICI and non ICICI Bank accounts with the help of their mobile. It allows customers to request for a cheque book or stop payment of a cheque through mobile device. Customers can also pay their utility bills through this facility. It allows them to know their transaction details and payment due dates through mobile phones.
The M-Commerce is very much prevalent in stock broking services. The user can access the stock market quotes. The share brokers send details about the market trends to client and offer some tips for trading. After receiving the information, the client responds or gives instructions to the stock broker. Such transaction takes place either in his/her form of SMS or call.
2. M-Commerce for Retail and After sale Services
Companies can also make online catalog of products so that the mobile users can access the catalog from their mobile devices. Customers are able to shop, place orders or hire services and pay for dues through mobile phones.
3. M-Commerce and Mobile Marketing
It is easy for business organizations to send text messages to promote a new product or carryout any form of promotional campaign. For example, Reliance Fresh sends the customer an SMS stating the reward points earned by them when they purchase goods from Reliance. Even if some changes are brought in providing reward points, they are informed to the customer in order to encourage sales.
4. M-Commerce and Mobile Ticketing
Airline tickets can be purchased through mobile phone. It also enables users of mobile phone to make changes in their tickets. For example, With “flybuy SMS” launched by Kingfisher Airlines and paymate, customers can get the details of Kingfisher airlines flights by sending SMS. The customer can book the ticket after receiving a reply. Besides the above, movie tickets can also be booked through mobile phones.
5. M-Commerce and Mobile Entertainment
Mobile terminal acts as a portable music player. Downloading ringtones has become successful m-commerce application. Mobile phone manufacturers and wireless providers are making good money by selling different kinds of customized ringtones.
6. M-Commerce for Hotel Reservations
Using mobile devices, customer can reserve for restaurants and hotels according to their needs.
7. M-Commerce in Healthcare and Medicine
Wireless services are used in healthcare and medicine for billing, lab ordering, referrals, prescriptions and clinical decisions. For example, in United States, healthcare professionals are able to obtain patient information from any location by getting connected wirelessly to the hospital’s information system. They are able to access the pharmaceutical information of patients and provide better patient care.
8. M-commerce for Intra-Office Communication
Sales personnel, who are always on the move, may need to access to the company information system to check price of products. But mobile allows the traveling sales personnel to track inventory and maintain communication with seniors at ease. Traveling salesmen do not have to wait for long to get approval from the seniors. Any information could be transferred easily and quickly with the help of mobile devices. It removes barriers in intra-office communication.
9. M-Commerce for Information
Mobiles enable customers to get information like sport news or political news of their choice. For example, today through SMS, students are able to check their university results or public examination results.
10. M-Commerce for Gaming
Customers can play multi player games through mobiles. Mobile games are very popular with colourful displays and it generates good revenue.