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October 23rd, 2012 Leave a comment Go to comments


Dr. (Mrs).R. RAJESWARI, Reader in Commerce,

Sri Sarada College for Women (Autonomous), Salem -16.


                “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.”


 “Mobile Commerce is the use of information technologies and communication technologies for the purpose of mobile integration of different value chains an business processes, and for the purpose of management of business relationships.”

– Webagency, 2001


M-commerce is not just about using mobile phones as end user devices. The following list gives an overview of different kinds of mobile devices.

  • Mobile phone
  • PDA (Personal Digital Assistant)
  • Smart phone-the smart phone combines mobile phone and PDA technology into one device.
  • Laptop
  • Earpiece (as part of a personal area network)


In comparison to e-commerce, m-commerce offers both advantages and disadvantages.  The following list summarises the advantages of m-commerce:

¨      Ubiquity: The use of wireless device enables the user to receive information and conduct transactions anywhere, at anytime.

¨      Accessibility: Mobile device enables the user to be contacted at virtually anytime and place. The user also has the choice to limit their accessibility to particular persons or times.

¨      Convenience: The portability of the wireless device and its functions from storing data to access to information or persons.

¨      Localization: The emergence of location-specific based applications will enable the user to receive relevant information on which to act.

¨      Instant Connectivity (2.5G): Instant connectivity or “always on” is becoming more prevalent will the emergence of 2.5 G networks, GPRS or EDGE. Users of 2.5 G services will benefit from easier and faster access to the Internet. 

¨      Personalization: The combination of localization and personalization will create a new channel/business opportunity for reaching and attracting customers. Personalization will take the form of customized information, meeting the users’ preferences, followed by payment mechanisms that allow for personal information to be stored, eliminating the need to enter credit card information for each transaction.

¨      Time Sensitivity – Access to real-time information such as a stock quote that can be acted upon immediately or a sale at a local boutique.

¨      Security – depending on the specific end user device, the device offers a certain level of inherent security.

The following list summarises the disadvantages of m-commerce:

  1. Mobile devices offer limited capabilities (such as limited display).  Between mobile devices these capabilities vary so much that end user services will need to be customized accordingly.
  2. The heterogeneity of devices, operating systems and network technologies is a challenge for a uniform end user platform.  For this reason, standardization bodies consisting of telecommunication companies, device manufacturers and value added service providers integrate their work.
  3. Mobile devices are more prone to theft and destruction.
  4. The communication over the air interface between mobile device and network introduces additional security threats.


In the current commerce industry, mobile commerce or M-Commerce has been entered in finance, services, retails, tele-communication and information technology services. In these sectors, M-Commerce is not only being widely accepted but also it is being more used as a popular way of business/ commerce.

  • Finance Sectors
  • Telecommunication Sectors
  • Service / Retail sectors
  • Information Sector


The general m-commerce applications are:

1. Mobile ticketing

Tickets can be sent to mobile phones using a variety of technologies. Users are then able to use their tickets immediately by presenting their phones at the venue.

Tickets can be booked and cancelled on the mobile with the help of simple application downloads or by accessing WAP portals of various Travel agents or direct service providers.  Mobile ticketing for airports, ballparks, and train stations, for example, will not only streamline unexpected metropolitan traffic surges, but also help users remotely secure parking spots (even while in their vehicles) and greatly facilitate mass surveillance at transport hubs.

2. Mobile vouchers, coupons and loyalty cards

Mobile ticketing technology can also be used for the distribution of vouchers, coupons and loyalty cards. The voucher, coupon, or loyalty card is represented by a virtual token that is sent to the mobile phone. Presenting a mobile phone with one of these tokens at the point of sale allows the customer to receive the same benefits as another customer who has a loyalty card or other paper coupon/voucher. Mobile delivery enables:

  • economy of scale
  • quicker and easier delivery
  • effective target marketing
  • privacy-friendly data mining on consumer behaviour
  • environment-friendly and resources-saving efficacy

3. Content purchase and delivery

Currently, mobile content purchase and delivery mainly consists of the sale of ring-tones, wallpapers, and games for mobile phones. The convergence of mobile phones, mp3 players and video players into a single device will result in an increase in the purchase and delivery of full-length music tracks and video. Download speeds, if increased to 4G levels, will make it possible to buy a movie on a mobile device in a couple of seconds, while on the go.

4. Location-based services

Unlike a home PC, the location of the mobile phone user is an important piece of information used during mobile commerce transactions. Knowing the location of the user allows for location based services such as:

  • local maps
  • local offers
  • local weather
  • people tracking and monitoring

5. Information services

A wide variety of information services can be delivered to mobile phone users in much the same way as it is delivered to PCs. These services include:

  • news services
  • stock data
  • sports results
  • financial records
  • traffic data and information

Particularly, more customized traffic information, based on users’ travel patterns, will be multicast on a differentiated basis, instead of broadcasting the same news and data to all Users. This type of multicasting will be suited for more bandwidth-intensive mobile equipment.

6. Mobile Banking

Banks and other financial institutions are exploring the use of mobile commerce to allow their customers to not only access account information, but also make transactions, e.g. purchasing stocks, remitting money, via mobile phones and other mobile equipment. This service is often referred to as Mobile Banking or M-Banking. More negative issues like ID theft, phishing and pharming are lurking when it comes to mobile banking, particularly done on the mobile web. Net security technology free from redundancy and paradigm shifts away from mobile web-based banking will be an optimal solution to mobile banking in the near future.

7. Mobile brokerage

Stock market services offered via mobile devices have also become more popular and are known as Mobile Brokerage. They allow the subscriber to react to market developments in a timely fashion and irrespective of their physical location.

8. Auctions

Over the past three years Mobile reverse action solutions have grown in popularity. Unlike traditional auctions, the reverse auction (or low-bid auction) bills the consumer’s phone each time they place a bid. Many mobile PSMS commerce solutions rely on a one-time purchase or one-time subscription; however, reverse auctions are high return applications as they allow the consumer to transact over a long period of time.

9. Mobile purchase

Mobile purchase allows customers to shop online at any time in any location. Customers can browse and order products while using a cheap, secure payment method. Instead of using paper catalogues, retailers can send customers a list of products that the customer would be interested in, directly to their mobile device or consumers can visit a mobile version of a retailer’s ecommerce site. Additionally, retailers will also be able to track customers at all times and notify them of discounts at local stores that the customer would be interested in.

10. Mobile marketing and advertising

Mobile marketing is an emerging concept, but the speed with which it’s growing its roots is remarkable. Mobile marketing is highly responsive sort of marketing campaign, especially from brands’ experience point of view. And almost all brands are getting higher campaign response rates.  Corporations are now using m-commerce to expand everything from services to marketing and advertisement. Although there are currently very few regulations on the use and abuses of mobile commerce, this will change in the next few years. With the increased use of m-commerce comes increased security. Cell phone companies are now spending more money to protect their customers and their information from online intrusions and hackers.


The main payment methods used to enable mobile commerce are:

  • premium-rate calling numbers,
  • charging to the mobile telephone user’s bill or
  • Deducting from their calling credit.
  • Registration of a credit card that is linked to a Sim Card.


Most e-payment systems are not suitable for use in a mobile context that is, using a mobile device and communicating over a mobile telecommunication network.  This is due to the special characteristics of mobile devices and mobile telecommunications.  In the following, we categorise m-payment systems according to the whereabouts of the customer’s money:

  1. Software electronic coins – electronic money stored on the mobile in file format.
  2. Hardware electronic coins – electronic money stored on the mobile device on a smart card.
  3. Background account – electronic money stored in a remote account at a trusted third party.

Software Electronic Coins

            In this case, monetary value is stored on the mobile device and the customer has full control of his/her money wherever he/she goes and whatever he/she does.  An electronic coin is represented as a file containing, among other information, a value, a serial number, a validity period and the signature of the issuing bank.  Since software electronic coins are easy to copy, the validity of an electronic coin depends on its uniqueness in terms of its serial number.  The customer transfers electronic coins to the merchant, who forwards them to the issuing bank for the “double spending test.” 

Hardware Electronic Coins

            In this case, monetary value is stored on a secure hardware token, typically a smart card, in the mobile device.  The presentation of electronic money is not important, as long as it is stored securely on the smart card.  Electronic money could be represented as a simple numeric counter.  In order to get to the money, the customer’s smart card and the merchant’s payment server authenticate each other and a secure channel is set up between them.  Then, electronic money can be transferred from one to the other.  This approach is quite attractive because smart cards provide an additional level of mobility.  That means the payment smart card can also be used in POS transactions.  E.g., Geldkarte, Mondex and Barclay card.

Background Account

            Here, the money is stored remotely on an account at a trusted third party.  Depending on the specific payment system, the account could be a credit card account, a bank account, or an account held at the network operator.  For example, in some cases this data is sent in the clear (e.g. a credit card authorisation) not providing any security against eavesdropping and in some cases this information is encrypted and digitally signed, providing anonymity to the customer (e.g. SET – Secure Electronic Transactions).


            The success of M-Commerce depends on:

  • Evolution: Technology and Business models are constantly evolving which will demand flexibility and patience on part of all players.
  • Customer loyalty: Who will ‘own’ the customer? Partnerships among players from various industries will be necessary for most, if not all, m-commerce initiatives, and, in turn, will alter the nature of any one company to own their own customers.
  • Cross-sector knowledge gulf, where the different parties will need to learn about the functions and limitations of the services provided by the other players, for example, operators will need to know about content and applications.
  • Moving up the value chain: To respond to market opportunities some companies have develop subsidiaries in order to react more rapidly to market challenges. For example, Sonera has developed Sonera Zed, to provide portal and application management services such as location based mobile yellow pages as well Smart Trust, to develop secure solution for m-commerce transactions. And Citicorp has established e-Citi to develop a wireless access gateway strategy for financial service providers.


As m-commerce applications and wireless devices are evolving rapidly, one will take forward the other one towards empowering innovation, versatility and power in them. There are a number of business opportunities and grand challenges of bringing forth viable and robust wireless technologies ahead for fully realizing the enormous strength of m-commerce in this Internet era and thereby meeting both the basic requirements and advanced expectations of mobile users and providers.

There are news articles and pictures displaying people, who are ordering things over the Internet while waiting for a bus, downloading merchant coupons on their PDAs as they enter a store or bidding for the last table at a hot restaurant by digital phone in a spur-of-the-moment auction. Actually this process represents a tip of a very big iceberg. The advent of m-commerce, as widely referred to among the users, has far-reaching implications. But there are many limitations in the technologies that Once its relevant technologies get matured, widely available and competent, the host of portable devices will be ready to handle the bigger transactional activities not envisioned so far successfully apart from these minor activities. One of the main feature challenges will be to unify payment solutions, providing the highest possible level of security.

Dr. R. Rajeswari

  1. Leo
    October 23rd, 2012 at 18:06 | #1

    Does A + M Commerce accept the TAFSA application?
    I looked at the application, and near the end of it, it shows the list of Colleges/Universities that accept Tafsa (Texas Application for State Financial Aid) , but A + M Commerce doesn’t seem to be this list. Does that necessarily mean they don’t accept them? Or does it?

    Here’s the website:

    (English 2009-2010 school year)

  2. Suddenly Human
    October 23rd, 2012 at 23:08 | #2

    I just did a bit of research at it looks like A&M did accept the TAFSA in the 08-09 school year (see page 38 on this A&M freshman view book) http://admissions.tamu.edu/files/pubs/Freshman_Guide_08_09.pdf

    so perhaps them missing off the list is a case of a school missing. SOMETIMES schools will be added or removed to these lists year by year, so you might check back again after January 1st because this is an 09-10 application and i’m assuming you are a high school senior and will not start until the 2010-2011 school year.

    Your best bet would be to contact the schools fin aid office and ask if they expect to be on the list for next year.

    Hope that helps.
    References :

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