What is M-Commerce?

M-commerce (mobile commerce) is the buying and selling of goods and services through wireless handheld devices such, primarily cellular telephone.


Widely referred to as next-generation e-commerce, m-commerce enables users to access the Internet without needing to find a place to plug in. The emerging technology behind m-commerce, which is based on the Wireless Application Protocol (WAP), has made far greater strides the world over, though initially it was mostly prevalent in Europe.


As content delivery over wireless devices becomes faster, more secure, and scalable, there is wide speculation that m-commerce will surpass wireline e-commerce as the method of choice for digital commerce transactions.


Industries affected:

  • Financial services, which includes mobile banking (when customers use their handheld devices to access their accounts and pay their bills) as well as brokerage services, in which stock quotes can be displayed and trading conducted from the same handheld device
  • Telecommunications, in which service changes, bill payment and account reviews can all be conducted from the same handheld device
  • Service/retail, as consumers are given the ability to place and pay for orders on-the-fly
  • Information services, which include the delivery of financial news, sports figures and traffic updates to a single mobile device

IBM and other companies are experimenting with speech recognition software as a way to ensure security for m-commerce transactions.

In Zimbabwe, the most typical example of M-Commerce is offered by Deepleague, through it’s Mobi-Homes  and Mobi-Jobs services where multitudes of people access daily digital updates of Properties to let and Job Vacancy updates over their mobile devices and they get to pay their subscriptions to the services through Mobile money, primarily Ecocash.


By Sean M Moyo

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