M-commerce: What is it? What will it mean for consumers? ?· M-COMMERCE - WHAT IS IT, WHAT WILL IT MEAN…

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  • M-COMMERCE

    WHAT IS IT?WHAT WILL IT MEAN FOR CONSUMERS?

    Paper prepared for consideration

    Consumer Affairs Victoria, Department of Justice. June 2002.

  • Consumer Affairs Victoria, Department of Justice. June 2002 WORK IN PROGRESS

    M-COMMERCE - WHAT IS IT, WHAT WILL IT MEAN FOR CONSUMERS?

    Introduction 11. Purpose of this paper 12. Background 13. Definition of m-commerce 24. Uptake of m-commerce 2

    4.1 United States..........................................................................................................24.2 Europe....................................................................................................................24.3 Japan ......................................................................................................................34.4 Australia.................................................................................................................3

    5. M-commerce services and applications 35.1 Content transactions ..............................................................................................35.2 Credit transactions .................................................................................................3

    6. Technology required to support m-commerce 47. Potential m-commerce operators 48. Broad regulatory framework for m-commerce 59. Case studies of m-commerce applications 7

    9.1 Banking..................................................................................................................79.2 Shopping................................................................................................................79.3 Instant purchasing..................................................................................................79.4 Point of sale transactions .......................................................................................79.5 Locational information and marketing ..................................................................89.6 Gambling ...............................................................................................................89.7 Content and entertainment.....................................................................................8

    10. Relationships in the m-commerce value chain 811. Possible billing models 10

    11.1 Payment linked to mobile phone account............................................................1011.2 Linking payment to bank account .......................................................................11

    12. Issues associated with the introduction and uptake of m-commerce 1112.1 Privacy .................................................................................................................1112.2 Security................................................................................................................1212.3 Locational information ........................................................................................1212.4 Liability for transactions......................................................................................1212.5 Relationships between service providers and consumers....................................1312.6 Disclosures and disclaimers.................................................................................1312.7 Advertising and selling practices.........................................................................1312.8 Content.................................................................................................................1312.9 Intellectual property issues ..................................................................................1412.10 Standards and competition...................................................................................1412.11 Provision of credit ...............................................................................................1412.12 Taxation ...............................................................................................................1512.13 Evidence and Enforcement..................................................................................1512.14 Education and Awareness....................................................................................15

    13. Possible elements of a consumer protection framework for m-commerce 1514. Building a consumer protection framework 1615. Conclusion and invitation to comment 17

    ATTACHMENT 1: Regulatory framework for m-commerce

  • Consumer Affairs Victoria, Department of Justice. June 2002 WORK IN PROGRESS

    1

    M-COMMERCE - WHAT IS IT, WHAT WILL IT MEAN FOR CONSUMERS?

    IntroductionThere is a significant amount of "hype" about what sort of services and applications will beable to be delivered using mobile phones and other wireless devices. There is also aconsiderable amount of concern about how these new services will be regulated. Just as withthe introduction of electronic commerce, and the use of the Internet, the uptake of mobilecommerce, or m-commerce, services are likely to test the regulatory structures that are inplace to deal with traditional transactions. While many of the potential problems that arise arelikely to be covered by existing consumer protection mechanisms, new issues willundoubtedly emerge in the uptake of m-commerce services where consumers are leftvulnerable to unfair marketing and selling practices.

    1. Purpose of this paperThis paper provides a broad overview of what mobile commerce, known as m-commerce is,and the sorts of issues that are likely to emerge that regulators must consider to ensure thatconsumers will be protected in using m-commerce services and applications. It aims toprovide a preliminary analysis, from a consumer perspective, of the types of problems that arelikely to occur, various protection mechanisms that will be required to support the rollout ofnew m-commerce applications and services, and where gaps in the protective framework arelikely to exist.

    A number of the sections of this preliminary paper will be developed, and the options toimprove protection for consumers using this technology explored in the next few months, inorder to develop a more fully considered paper.

    The purpose of this paper is to seek information from other jurisdictions on: potential consumer issues arising in the uptake of m-commerce; any policy analysis currently underway and options being considered; and support for coordinated work in this area.

    2. BackgroundMobile phone technology has been rapidly adopted in Australia. With prices falling, and inresponse to new marketing techniques, such as portraying mobile phones as a security optionfor young people and older people, users of mobile phones are demographically diverse.

    To date, mobile phones are mostly used for voice traffic. However, SMS (Short MessageService) messaging has caught on with surprising speed, and in Australia is likely to alreadyaccount for a significant proportion of revenue from some mobile subscribers.

    The capacity for mobile technologies to offer advanced services is being strengthened withimproved data rates and the move to broadband services. The greater bandwidth allows formobile office -type applications and even video transmission, and, coupled with the capacityfor an 'always on' connection, similar to the fixed environment, will increase take-up rates.There is a great deal of expectation that the soon to be introduced 3rd generation of mobileservices will offer even greater functionality, but even with the interim 2.5 generationservices, there has been a significant improvement in the capacity for mobile services to offeradditional services.

  • Consumer Affairs Victoria, Department of Justice. June 2002 WORK IN PROGRESS

    2

    Mobile phones incorporate ideal characteristics for performing electronic transactions, andhave been identified as the future 'electronic wallet'. The SIM card, which is theidentification card in the phone, is one of the only examples of the much-touted 'smart card'and can carry information or store value and provide secure authorisation and identification.

    Given the central role that payment transactions play in both the economy and everyday life,policy-makers must ensure that there are adequate protection mechanisms for all stakeholdersin the transaction process, in particular for consumers.

    3. Definition of m-commerceM-Commerce has been defined as the "use of handheld wireless devices to communicate,interact, and transact via high-speed connection to the Internet."

    With the introduction of advanced phone technology, consumers of mobile devices will beable to access content and services anytime, anywhere. For example, they will be able to usewireless devices to access banking accounts and pay bills, receive stock quotes and initiatebuy/sell transactions, or receive special promotions and generate orders from any place at anytime.

    There are a number of different types of electronic commerce that are likely to emerge: Business to Business - Electronic transactions that are conducted as part of trading, for

    example, the payment for the supply of goods between a producer and a wholesaler. Business to Consumer - Involves businesses selling their goods and services directly to

    consumers. Consumer to Consumer - Such as auctions and classified ad purchases.

    The focus of this paper is primarily on issues that could arise in the conduct of Business toConsumer (B2C) transactions, such as shopping or paying for services using a mobile phone.

    4. Uptake of m-commerce

    4.1 United StatesIt has been estimated that the number of Internet-enabled mobile devices will exceed thenumber of PCs by 2003.1 Another research centre, the Yankee Group similarly predicts thatby 2004, more than 30% of all wireless users will access the In