Remember Ericsson? Yeah, they used to make mobile phones on their own. Then they realised they couldn’t compete against Nokia, Motorola and the rest, and spun out their mobile division to hook up with Sony, who also realised that they were getting squeezed. Sony Ericcson mobile has trundled along for a few years and are even coming out with handheld mashups like the Xperia Play. But the mothership of Ericsson itself has largely turned into a telecoms and services company. Today, however they are doing something unusually disruptive.
Ericsson Money is launching across seven European countries (UK, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Poland and Sweden) and allows anyone to send and receive money via mobile. Eventually there will be a commission fee for sending money but for a limited time it’s free.
Users create a secure mobile wallet online and can access the cash via their mobiles. It costs 3% to add to accounts and £5 to set up an account.
Outside of the seven countries, Ericsson also plans a service called Ericsson Money Interconnect allowing other services to connect with the platform. Ericsson hopes that eventually people will be using it to pay bills and shop online / in retail stores.
Users set up an account on the site and load money into the eWallet with a debit card, credit card or by bank transfer. To add a contact you want to send money to you type in their name, the country they live in, and their mobile number. You then get a one-time security code via SMS to confirm your contact, which is only valid for 10 minutes. You can then send money to someone via mobile. You can also send money to someone without a bank account so long as they have an Ericsson Money account or are part of one of their network partners. Users can also get a PrePaid card so they can use it like a bank card.
A Basic (Restricted) account means you can load and send up to £1,600 a year, but Unrestricted accounts let you load and send unlimited amounts per year.