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    Qpass makes for Europe


    Qpass, a provider of mobile commerce software that has six US operators as clients is making its launch in Europe with a Simpay-compliant component in its services management software.

    The US-based company has six US operators as customers for its service management software, which it claims manages every stage of the m-commerce service cycle — from introducing services, to making an offer to the customer, through payment, settlement, providing reports for operators and content providers and customer care.
    The Simpay-compliant payment component is one of the payment mechanisms Qpass supports within its payment module, although the company is keen to be seen as more than a payment company.
     It says its all-round approach addresses a need among content providers looking to play in the European market for greater clarity, speed and flexibility in introducing new services to the market.
    According to Qpass’ own research amongst 20 content providers (all of whom are Qpass partners in the USA, incidentally), a majority of them said that they received “inadequate support” from European operators. 70% of those surveyed claimed that it took more than a month for a new service to be introduced.
    “This is an issue operators have not addressed outwith their supply chain management team,” Ken Parkinson, director of sales and business development, said. “People are not using a web interface to manage the connection between service provider and content provider.  A workflow software approach means that differing branding and control issues can be handled appropriately, for on and off-portal services.”
    “Traditionally the billing providers have had to fill that gap,” Parkinson said, “and that has lead to technologies building bespoke solutions, but the USA has leapfrogged Europe in this area.”
    Qpass’ support for Simpay is probably essential if it is to break into a European market dominated by the operators that have jointly founded the mobile payment alliance. But Parkinson stressed that Simpay is just one of the payment mechanisms the service management platform can support.
    Simpay had also “slowed down m-commerce” in Europe, he said, particularly the long discussion it created as a replacement for premium SMS. A more holisitic approach creates new revenue streams for operators, he said.

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