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Social Media Key to mPayments in Chile

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October 06, 2014

Social Media Key to mPayments in Chile

By TMCnet Special Guest
Helmut Okike, Omlis

Global mobile payments solutions provider Omlis claims the continued growth of Internet and social media use could be a key catalyst for the accelerated adoption of mobile payments in Chile. A report by Ericsson (News - Alert) Consumerlab confirmed Chile as the joint leading mCommerce economy in South America with Mexico. Omlis confidently endorse the idea that the explosion of Internet use via mobile devices in Chile and its added convenience provides the ideal scenario for simple yet secure mobile payment services for an increasingly tech savvy consumer base. Omlis states that low financial inclusion and high mobile phone penetration are key contributing factors. The evidence of such convergence has recently been demonstrated by Twitter’s (News - Alert) testing of a “Buy now” button, a button that only appears on mobile devices.

Omlis, who recently completed a strategic partnership agreement with leading Chilean technology services provider, ISN Technologies, made this confident claim based on current consumer activity around Internet and social media use in Chile. The convergence of social media and mobile payments can be explained when assessing factors such as social inclusion, low average household income and the relatively high cost of home Internet services. According to The OECD better life index, the average household net-adjusted disposable income per capita in Chile is $13,762 per annum. Social liberation and inclusion through social media in Chile becomes more apparent with the average net adjusted disposable income of the top 20 percent of the population at $38,697 per annum compared to the bottom 20 percent who earn an estimated $2,983 per annum.

Pew (News - Alert) Research Center found that as emerging economies like Chile continue to embrace and rely on the Internet and mobile technology. The study found that 69 percent of Chileans access the Internet daily via a mobile device, of which 55 percent of 18-29 year olds use smartphones to do so.

Ericsson Consumerlab put the mobile phone saturation rate in Chile at 152 percent in 2013 with ComScore Research identifying the level of social media activity at 10+ hours per month to such platforms via a mobile device by Latin Americans. The report by Pew Research further confirmed that 76 percent of Internet users in Chile use social media, awarding Chile the 2nd highest social media usage in Latin America. The most popular use of social media in Chile was identified as staying in-touch with family and friends and sharing views about music and movies representing 96 percent and 79 percent of Chileans. The report also found that 37 percent of Chileans access Facebook (News - Alert) and Twitter regularly via their mobile phone, with 11 percent confirming they also research prices via this medium.

Camilo Mero, New Business Director at leading Chilean technology services provider ISN Technologies said, “We are all aware of the mobile saturation rate in Chile, which is well over 100 percent and the convenience provided to consumers by mobile Internet. This is certainly an opportunity for ISN Technologies who partnered with Omlis to serve the market with an elegant and secure mobile payment solution.”

Mero also added, “Our current client base includes very strong brands like ABCDIN, Redbanc, Nexus, and Banco Santander. The integration of highly differentiated and fully secure mobile payment solutions should certainly add traction to the Chilean mobile payments economy while ensuring that every consumer we serve can enjoy the Internet with uncompromised safety when they choose to transact.”

Ericsson Consumerlabs found that only 42 percent of Chileans are using or have used a bank product and 23 percent either having used or owning a credit card. Such optimistic claims made by Omlis about the potential for improved buoyancy of the Chilean mobile payments market could prove more accurate than many predicted as long as such services continue to add value to the lives of Chilean consumers. The same report found that 20 percent of Chileans engaged in M-commerce for mobile banking, 11 percent use mobile wallets and 15 percent for mobile shopping.

“Servicing emerging economies like Chile using our extremely small Omlis data packets and reduced bandwidth means that all mobile phone users using smart or non-smartphone devices have quick and completely uncompromised access to secure mobile payments via their mobile device regardless of whether they use 2G, 3G or 4G.” Markus Milsted, CEO of Omlis also added, “We envision a global society where everyone is included regardless of region, social status and income. We feel this is absolutely achievable by providing compelling technology products deployed through our partnership with ISN.”

Chile is a mobile savvy nation with a population of 17.2 million. Although classified as a rapidly emerging economy, Chile scored 12.97 by the OECD Better Life Index which reflects the maximum social inequality gap between the rich and poor. However, the ever-increasing mobile phone penetration and Internet adoption through the mobile device is fast becoming the catalyst for improved social equality in Chile.

Edited by Maurice Nagle

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