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RIM announces BBM mobile gifting platform

Research in Motion on Monday announced a new service addition to its popular BlackBerry Messenger platform. Dubbed the BBM mobile gifting platform, the new service will allow carriers to enable mobile gifting for their subscribers using BlackBerry devices. Prepaid and post-paid subscribers will be able to use the BBM gifting feature to pay for airtime, apps and other carrier services requested by friends and family. The feature will support carrier billing, so related charges will be billed directly to a subscriber’s wireless account. The service will also be integrated tightly with BlackBerry App world, and will allow users to make requests of specific BlackBerry subscribers — so, for example, a child might request a certain app from his or her mother, who will then receive a BBM notification that the request has been made and can choose whether or not to fulfill it. No carrier partners have been announced at this point in time. Hit the break for RIM’s full press release.

RIM Announces Plans to Provide Carriers with New BBM Mobile Gifting Platform

New mobile gifting platform will integrate with BlackBerry App World and carrier billing systems to allow BlackBerry subscribers to instantly gift airtime, apps and other carrier services from one subscriber to another using BBM

Mobile World Congress, Barcelona, Spain – Research In Motion (RIM) (NASDAQ: RIMM; TSX: RIM) today announced plans for an innovative mobile gifting platform for carriers that will allow one authorized BlackBerry® subscriber to use their post-paid or pre-paid account to conveniently, securely and instantly approve and pay for airtime, apps or other carrier services requested by another BlackBerry subscriber.

The innovative BBM mobile gifting platform will integrate with BlackBerry App World™ and carrier billing systems and allow the gifting requests and approvals to be handled directly between the BlackBerry subscribers using BBM™ (BlackBerry® Messenger) with transactions that are secure, authenticated and non-repudiable. The platform will also allow carriers to more easily sell airtime to BlackBerry prepaid subscribers (for the subscriber’s own use).

“RIM is committed to aligning with carrier business models to deliver innovative and relevant mobile commerce solutions,” said Jim Balsillie, Co-CEO at RIM. “There will be many usage scenarios and circumstances that can be accommodated through the BBM mobile gifting platform around the world, but the easiest for many people to readily envision and appreciate is the simplified act of a parent approving their child’s request for additional airtime minutes or an app purchase with a single click using BBM.”

The introduction of such convenient and tightly integrated services based on the BBM mobile gifting platform will enhance mobile commerce and enable carriers to provide unique value to their customers. BlackBerry subscribers will be able to buy or gift airtime, apps and other carrier services and charge the purchases to their existing postpaid or prepaid account, or alternatively pay for the purchases through various other payment methods.

Zach Epstein

Zach Epstein has worked in and around ICT for more than 15 years, first in marketing and business development with two private telcos, then as a writer and editor covering business news, consumer electronics and telecommunications. Zach’s work has been quoted by countless top news publications in the US and around the world. He was also recently named one of the world's top-10 “power mobile influencers” by Forbes, as well as one of Inc. Magazine's top-30 Internet of Things experts.

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