Kiwi Developer Wins The Chance To Expand Overseas

Published: Tue 19 Oct 2004 10:13 AM
Innovative Kiwi Developer Wins The Chance To Expand Its Business Internationally
Winning this year’s Ericsson Frontier competition is giving New Zealand developer Mobile Commerce Limited (M-Com) the opportunity to take its mobile payment application, M-Topup, onto the international business stage.
M-Com beat 75 submissions from Australia and New Zealand to take out the top prize of a NZD$15,000 trip to the December Matchmaking Session in Switzerland where Europe’s leading network operators and venture capitalists are gathering.
Among the six competition finalists was another New Zealand-based company, TxtCentre, which hosts text and multimedia message channels for its customers.
Frontier is an initiative of Ericsson Mobility World, Ericsson’s global partnering programme, designed to accelerate the development and market deployment of innovative applications and services.
New Zealand or Australian developers with a market-ready mobile and/or broadband application were eligible to enter. Judges in Frontier included representatives from telecommunications companies Telecom New Zealand, Telstra, Vodafone and Hutchison.
Ericsson’s NZ General Manager of Marketing, Steve Inglis, says the quality of entries was outstanding and the competition was fierce.
“We received some highly innovative applications from both countries but M-Com particularly stood out with its sophisticated and mature product that simplifies payments for pre-paid mobile phones.”
“New Zealand has had so much success recently in many industries, including film and fashion, and it’s great to see another area of Kiwi innovation excelling on the international stage,” he says.
Last year, New Zealand-based company I.T. Link took out the top prize and has reaped the benefits of international exposure, enabling a successful launch into the United Kingdom of its mobile sales force application, SalesLink.
M-Com’s founder, Director and CEO, Adam Clark, is delighted with his company’s win this year and says they’re hoping for similar success.
“We’re actively looking at export markets around the world and want to sell M-Topup and other M-Payment solutions into overseas telecommunications companies and banks,” he says.
M-Com’s application, M-Topup, enables consumers with a Telecom pre-paid mobile phone and an ASB Bank account to top-up their airtime credit from their bank account via SMS text message, providing them with a further alternative to topping up their phone credit.
The service, generically termed Mobile Payment or M-Payment, is the first collaboration of its kind between a major telecommunications company and a bank in New Zealand.
The technology offers huge potential for future services, enabling consumers to purchase good and services in situations where they don’t have access to traditional payment methods such as cash, EFTPOS or credit cards. This means consumers could buy a burger, a book or a plane ticket with their mobile phone.
All six Frontier finalists received prizes including Sony Ericsson mobile phones, free entry to Ericsson’s Developer Day programme on 11 November in Auckland, and also the chance to present their application to top telecommunications decision-makers in New Zealand and Australia.
…/3 The other finalists were Viva La Mobile, Yambay, Surelabs and Gizmoz, all from Australia.

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