vendredi 5 novembre 2010

Kuwait : M-commerce remains unviable option due to security reasons

Globally, E-commerce and M-commerce are the new trends in purchasing and selling commodities. In Kuwait, however, M-Commerce has taken a backseat because of infrastructure that provides for the security of transactions. According to Fouad Al-Abalani, Deputy General Manager at Wataniya Telecommunication Company, Wataniya had a project to start using M-commerce six years ago but conditions imposed by the Central Bank over the banking sector in Kuwait has made it impossible in terms of security requirements.

Globally, E-Commerce and M-Commerce are storming the business milieu. They are advanced business transactions that are growing rapidly all through the world. Facebook, Google, and Twitter are entering the e-commerce space nowadays through what is called 'social shopping.' For instance Facebook has a system that allows sellers to create and operate a retail storefront on Facebook.

PayPal is an example of what is called P2P model or person to person shopping. Western Europe is known to be one of the key regions for growth in global e-commerce. Kuwait is following this new trend in business transactions of purchasing and selling. It, however, still has not made it in M-commerce. But first what is E-commerce and M-commerce?

Electronic commerce, commonly known as e-commerce or eCommerce, or e-business consists of the buying and selling of products or services over electronic systems such as the Internet and other computer networks. The use of commerce is conducted in this way, spurring and drawing on innovations in electronic funds transfer, supply chain management, internet marketing, online transaction processing, electronic data interchange (EDI), inventory management systems, and automated data collection systems. Modern e
lectronic commerce typically uses the World Wide Web at least at some point in the transaction's lifecycle, although it can encompass a wider range of technologies such as e-mail as well.

Electronic commerce that is conducted between businesses is referred to as business-to-business or B2B. B2B can be open to all interested parties (e.g. commodity exchange) or limited to specific, pre-qualified participants (private electronic market). Electronic commerce that is conducted between businesses and consumers, on the other hand, is referred to as business-to-consumer or B2C.

This is the type of electronic commerce conducted by companies such as Online shopping is a form of electronic commerce where the buyer is directly online to the seller's computer usually via the internet. There is no intermediary service. If an intermediary is present, then the sale and purchase transaction is called electronic commerce such as

Mobile Commerce, also known as M-Commerce or m Commerce, is the ability to conduct commerce using a mobile device, such as a mobile phone, a Personal Digital Assistant (PDA), a smart phone, or other emerging mobile equipment such as dash top mobile devices. Mobile Commerce has been defined as follows: "Mobile Commerce is any transaction, involving the transfer of ownership or rights to use goods and services, which is initiated and/or completed by using mobile access to computer-mediated networks with the
help of an electronic device.

Al-Abalani explained that STK or SIM tool it is the tool needed to ensure security in M-commerce transactions where people can conduct transactions fraud-free, Wataniya had such a tool, Al-Abalani said. The problem relies, in his opinion, that Kuwaiti banks are not all ready for such an updated trend (only NBK and Burgan bank are ready), that's why this function is not possible at this time. "We as operators benefit from this service, so are banks and customers," he said.

Speaking about the PayPal system he explained that it is a portal by which anybody can buy certain products or services. "But this requires opening an account in any bank outside Kuwait since it is not yet provided through Kuwaiti banks." Al-Abalani suggested that they start implementing M-commerce through K-net, the network that is connecting all banks in Kuwait since the system development of such a tool is not the same in all banks. There were previous attempts made in Kuwait by Zain to address M-commerce but the market was not quite ready then for such a move and then the company stopped it.

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