New BBM Shopping – Access to Millions of Products, Special Offers and Secured Payment All Within BBM

Following the recent launch of BBM Vouchers, we proudly announce the addition of BBMbbm-shopping Shopping to the Discover menu.

BBM Shopping is launched in partnership with Bukalapak, one of Southeast Asia’s largest e-Commerce marketplaces. Now BBM users in Indonesia will have access to millions of products, and special offers in a streamlined, mobile-friendly shopping experience with secured payment all within BBM.

Bukalapak’s customers can seamlessly link their existing online account to BBM Shopping.

First time users are only required to set up their account once, without the need to re-login for subsequent usage to make payments all within the BBM environment.

Powered by BBM Checkout

BBM Shopping, like BBM Voucher and BBM Pulsa/PLN, is also powered by BBM Checkout. Built into BBM, securely stores your payment credentials and shipping information after the first purchase. You’ll never have to enter the information again! Just tap to pay, and BBM Checkout will use the information on file, thus making it a fast, easy, seamless and convenient way to pay for transactions on-the-go.

Discover BBM

We’re transforming BBM from a tool enabling real-time chat between two people into a sophisticated mobile platform where brands can not only interact with consumers, but ultimately drive purchases. We’re also decreasing the amount of time spent at checkout with a highly efficient checkout process, which will result in higher sales conversion rate for merchants who will then experience less shopping cart abandonment.

As part of our ongoing strategy to develop new features and services to provide convenience to our users, and value to our partners, we’ll soon be expanding the ability for buyers to communicate through BBM Chat with sellers in BBM Shopping, creating an engaging user experience – so stay tuned!

In the meantime, happy BBM Shopping this Christmas season!

Six Ways Indonesia’s Cutting-Edge Adoption of Tech and Mobile May Surprise You

Indonesia, BBM, selfie

BBM and BlackBerry are both big in Indonesia. That’s no secret. Since I live in Singapore and work for BlackBerry, I’ve had the opportunity to visit the island nation regularly in the last couple of years. I also travel to the U.S. and Canada frequently, and I’m often surprised that people in the tech industry there (outside BlackBerry, of course), don’t really have Indonesia on their radar for digital. That’s crazy. It absolutely should be.

So, I thought I’d shine some light on this tremendous market, and talk about why BBM is so excited to be a part of it as the market continues to mature.

Indonesia is already well established when it comes to e-commerce (at $12 billion in 2014, the market is estimated to rise to $25 billion this year). Even so, it’s poised for explosive growth. That’s due in part to its young, social and tech-savvy population, but also its growing middle class and ever-increasing internet connectivity.

1. Indonesians are many, highly social and connected

Home to 255 to 260 million people (depending on who you ask), Indonesia is the fourth-most populous country on Earth (after China, India and the U.S.). Indonesians are highly social, ranking fourth in the world for Facebook usage, and fifth for Twitter. (Jakarta has recently been the #1 tweet-producing city.) It’s a young country, with at least 50% of its population under the age of 30. It’s also a tech-savvy market, with 93 million internet users and 52 million smartphone users.

Most important, Indonesia is a mobile-first market, with 93% of people accessing the internet via smartphone. Indonesians have really taken to the technology, and in addition to being active on chat, they’re also enthusiastic mobile gamers and mobile shoppers.

What’s more, we’re seeing double-digit growth in most of these numbers year-over-year. Mobile is already big. It’s getting bigger. And fast.

2. Growing spending power increases business opportunities

One of the reasons for the growth is economic. Home to a consumer-based economy, Indonesia has a growing middle class, currently at about 88 million, and projected to reach 141 million by 2020.

The driver? Lower labor costs than China and other countries. That’s attracting manufacturing jobs – some have dubbed it part of a New China with regard to manufacturing opportunity. I expect to see the same kinds of growth in Indonesian consumer culture and spending as we’ve seen in China in the last couple of decades.

emme23. Increasing internet availability creates connections

The archipelago is currently the world’s fourth-largest mobile market, and is actively improving its infrastructure to support technology and mobile growth. The major mobile operators have been investing heavily in building out the country’s LTE networks in the last couple of years.

And just like in the rest of the world, the costs of devices and data plans are coming down, making smartphones and all the apps and services they bring more affordable and more accessible than ever before.

4. Ripe for innovation

Clearly, there is no shortage of opportunity here. At the same time, there are “archaic regulations,” according to this Wall Street Journal blog post, that can make it a challenging place to do business.

But that, combined with Indonesia’s famously poor infrastructure, can actually be a boon for mobile commerce, leading to innovative local solutions.

Why? Because necessity is the mother of invention. Because the internet, plus mobile devices and apps, can fill in for that missing infrastructure. Take “Emmi” (pictured here). A college student in Jakarta, she saw an opportunity to use mobile tools, her own two feet, design sense and business savvy to build a thriving shoe-sales business. Her business exists, in a way, because of poor infrastructure. It’s hard for students to get around town to get what they need, so Emmi brings what they need to them. The same business model might not work in another area. But for the students in her city, it’s the perfect solution. Brilliant. And she’s just one of the hundreds of millions of Indonesians with ideas, know-how, willpower and a growing access to technology.

5. Big-name firms are investing

Others see the opportunity too, because even with the regulations and infrastructure challenges, well-known venture capital firms – and even the Indonesian government – are investing in the local tech industry. And why not? The cost of investing is lower, and the opportunities are just as big.

6. BBM is #1. And we’re not going anywhere.

Indonesia has plenty of big, thriving tech businesses (like Lazada Indonesia and Zalora Indonesia B2C e-commerce platforms, GO-JEK (the motorbike-based courier, transport and shopping service with over 200,000 drivers nationwide) and lots of well-funded startups. Even with so much activity, the market is still relatively fragmented, with lots of room for new players. There’s no doubt we’ll continue to see new ideas and new companies come and go over the next decade at least.

For years, BBM has been the most-installed and most commonly used app in Indonesia. We are thrilled to be part of this exciting market, launching a number of new services in the last year or so (like BBM Life, BBM Checkout, plus airtime top-up, games and streaming music through the BBM Shop). We also love having a front-row seat to the market’s developments, and a role in helping the industry mature. We have big plans for Indonesia – and we know others do, too. We can’t wait to see what comes next.

New BBM LIFE Channel Delivers Daily News Content to Indonesians

BBM LIFEWe’re working to make BBM your social hub. That’s why we recently launched the new channel BBM LIFE – a new daily content channel for our customers in Indonesia.

Messaging apps such as BBM are becoming the primary way we stay connected to the people in our lives – work colleagues, friends and family. And increasingly services, shopping and other kinds of commerce are shifting to messaging as well.

We’re establishing a commercial ecosystem around chat in Indonesia, adding a host of services to BBM, the country’s most popular messaging app. BBM LIFE is the latest in the lineup.

BBM LIFE: Quality Content Delivered Daily

Checking the news is one of the first things people do in the morning – on the way to work, over breakfast, maybe even before they get out of bed (I’m not admitting anything.) We don’t have to pick up the morning paper or wait for the evening news anymore. Our mobiles connect us from wherever we are to whatever we want to know. But right now, you might be going to several different sources to get all the news you want.

We’re partnering with the biggest bloggers and content providers in Indonesia to bring you great information about travel, food and gaming, as well as entertainment, humor and news.

Current partners:

  • MBDC Media and its properties, including entertainment and humor site
  • VIVAnews, one of Indonesia’s biggest news sites
  • Hipwee, social news site covering entertainment, relationships, travel and inspirational articles

Coming soon:

  • Qraved mobile food ordering app that includes culinary news, dining guides and restaurant reviews and information

Subscribe to the BBM LIFE Channel today at C0022442C.

BBM Brings Together Chat, Social and Commerce

Asian man using smartphoneOur large and active user base in the country – 58 million users – relies on BBM for keeping in touch with family and friends as well as conducting business. There isn’t another messaging app in the market today that can compete with the ecosystem we’re developing in Indonesia.

That ecosystem includes shopping channels from large retailers like Qoo10 and Zalora. It includes BBM Pay, which allows people to pay for goods and services online and in stores via credit cards or bank transfers. It also includes the BBM Shop, which offers airtime top-up, apps, games, stickers and streaming music.

The increased consumer activity on BBM is in turn attracting advertisers to our platform. All the additions have been very popular with consumers and the media, as evidenced by the two mobile social media awards we’ve won in the last year.

We want BBM to be indispensable. That’s why we’re constantly improving the platform and adding services like BBM LIFE that make it more useful, more fun and more valuable.

BBM Advertisers Are Capitalizing on the Shift From Holiday Shopping Marathons to Moments


Holiday shopping is shifting from “marathons” to “moments,” Google revealed on its Inside AdWords blog recently. Instead of crack-of-dawn pilgrimages and daylong missions, people are using their mobiles to take advantage of free minutes here and there – waiting for a train, standing in line for coffee – to get through their lists. The historically big shopping days are becoming smaller, both online and off. (Except for Singles’ Day! More on that below.)

As consumers, our shopping sessions are shorter and more focused. We’re using the mobile channel to discover products, learn about them, and buy them. Mobile shopping is steadily growing in the UK, US, China and elsewhere, widely predicted to soon become the biggest piece of the e-commerce pie.

Singles’ Day is the exception – but increasingly mobile

Singles’ DayiStock_000071052995_Medium

is a celebration of being single. It originated in China among college students as a kind of anti-Valentine’s Day, with the general idea being that single people should treat themselves to a bargain for the occasion. It’s now spreading to other Asian countries with Chinese populations.

In the last few years, it has become the biggest online shopping day in the world. Singles’ Day is therefore bucking the trend that Google cites, of historically big shopping days becoming smaller. (This year, online marketplace Alibaba reported $14.32 billion in sales, making it the biggest online shopping day ever.)

But Singles’ Day traffic is right in line with the other trend: the shift to mobile. This year, 73% of purchases made on Alibaba in the first hour came via mobile, and 68% of overall sales.

It’s all part of the larger trend of people spending more time on mobile than on any other channel. And where the people go, advertisers follow.

BBM bustling for the holidays

That’s what we’re seeing this year in BBM: increased activity from advertisers and consumers. We served our first ads in BBM in July 2015, and introduced video in September. Our busy ad marketplace has ramped up at lighting speed to over 1 billion ad requests every day by October. Now the number is over 1.4 billion.

Helping that growth is a steady stream of new campaigns from e-commerce companies Blibli, Elevenia, Lazada, OLX, Qoo10, Rakuten and Tokopedia. We’ve also seen a lot of interest in our sponsored sticker packs from consumers and brands. Recently, we’ve added:bunny

  • Le Lapin Duracell, a holiday-themed Duracell sticker pack targeted to French users
  • MasterCard Rugby Emoji, a Rugby World Cup 2015 sticker pack targeted to the UK
  • Orijin Emoji Keyboard, promoting the Origin beverage in Nigeria
  • Toko Fashion Online, a fashion shopping sticker pack from Zalora targeted to Indonesians

Putting payment in place

This massive shift to the mobile channel is why we’re hard at work making it easier to shop on BBM. We’re already helping consumers and brands connect in meaningful ways. Now, we’re working on launching one-click payments in our top markets.

We recently updated BBM Pay, which includes BBM Money, which provides instant mobile payments, as well as credit card and bank transfer services to users of the app on all major platforms in Indonesia – the second-fastest e-commerce growth market in the world. Next, we’re looking to provide similar services in Africa and the Middle East.

Why one-click payments? Amazon pioneered one-click payments in the ’90s, making it faster than ever to get what you needed. Apple licensed the patent for its iTunes store, which effectively became one of the first successful mobile payment processes with the launch of iPhone. One-click payments are a big reason Über and similar services are so popular.

Simply put: one-click purchasing reduces barriers to purchase, which as any marketer knows, is a sure-fire way to increase sales.

As consumers enthusiastically embrace mobile shopping, we’ll continue to spur things along, providing the tools consumers want to connect with the brands they care about, to take advantage of shopping moments throughout their days and easily make purchases.

Instant Mobile Payments for BBM Money Launched in Indonesia

exclusive interview

BBM Money users on all platforms in Indonesia can now pay for goods and services online and in stores – regardless of who they bank with.

Last Wednesday we held an event to update media and the Android, BlackBerry and iOS communities in Indonesia on BBM. We focused particularly on an update to BBM Money that for the first time brings Instant Mobile Payments to users of the app on all major platforms in Indonesia (that’s me on the right demonstrating the new feature to reporters).

For anyone not already familiar: BBM Money is an app which integrates directly with a customer’s BBM account, letting Indonesian users pay for goods in real-time using the BBM platform they are familiar and comfortable with – all underpinned by BlackBerry’s expertise and legacy in security and privacy.

As many of you already know, BBM remains the most popular messaging app in Indonesia, particularly on devices running Android. However, in addition to the popularity and renown that BBM commands in Indonesia, there are three trends making Indonesia the obvious choice in which to launch a mobile money scheme.

Firstly, with 250 million people experiencing rapid economic development, e-commerce in Indonesia is booming. In fact, e-commerce is growing at the second-fastest pace globally, behind only China.

Secondly, while the use of mobile messaging seems commonplace in Indonesia, smartphone penetration has only just reached 20%. The rate of adoption is among the highest in the world, however, meaning the first experience of the internet for most Indonesians today is from a smartphone. This presents an amazing opportunity for the growing number of innovative and entrepreneurial online retail startups in the country to attract new customers via their smartphones – and is where the BBM Mobile Ad Platform and BBM Channels come into their own.

Thirdly, less than 20% of Indonesians have access to a traditional bank account. Moreover, just 11% of the 250 million inhabitants of Indonesia have debit cards and only 3% have credit cards. This means there are more BBM users in the country than there are debit and credit card users combined. For anyone without access to a bank account or payment card, what could be more convenient than a mobile payment service deeply integrated with the mobile messaging service they love so much?


Following an update to the BBM Money app for Android, BlackBerry and iOS, our customers can now use Instant Mobile Payments to pay for goods and services online and in participating retailers’ stores, regardless of who they bank with. The payment happens instantly without the need to make a trip to an ATM to transfer money to the merchant.

To celebrate Ramadan – the busiest buying season of the year in Indonesia – we are working with a group of retailers, all of which already accept Instant Mobile Payments via BBM Money. These include leading fashion, electronics, food and gift retailers – but the team is hard at work signing up more and more merchants, as we continue building the BBM Money ecosystem in Indonesia.

I know a lot of you – and indeed, most of the press we met with this week! – are keen to understand whether we will launch services like BBM Money in markets beyond Indonesia. The answer is that payment services aren’t simple to replicate from one market to the next, given the complexity of local regulations and banking systems. However, we are actively looking at other markets with traits similar to Indonesia, where it would make sense for us to invest in similar BBM-linked payment services. I’ll ensure we keep you updated on any news in this area.

2014 Holiday Shopping Continues Trend Towards Ecommerce, Mobile Shopping and Mobile Payments

GettyImages_453309737For Christmas shoppers, the years of spending December weekends desperately wandering through crowds in malls and merchant districts might be coming to a close.

In the last 10-15 years, holiday shopping has been going through a transition: from in-store purchasing to ecommerce, and within ecommerce, from desktop to mobile. More people are shopping from home, work, or for Americans, on the sly under the table at Thanksgiving dinner.

The 2014 shopping season confirmed the trend. Black Friday used to be the biggest shopping day of the year, but it’s been replaced by Cyber Monday. This year, in-store traffic and sales on Black Friday both fell. And mobile sales are up. Here’s a great chart from IBM Digital Analytics that clearly shows the increase over the last three years.

Cyber Monday 2014 was the biggest online shopping day of the season, with over $2 billion in desktop online sales. It was also the biggest US online spending day in history. Mobile sales accounted for 22% of the total, an increase of 27.6% over 2013. For the entire weekend, PayPal reported a 47% increase in global mobile payment volume.

All told, online desktop sales in the US topped out at $53 billion, up 15% over 2013. Mobile sales accounted for 22% of all online sales, up 27% over 2013.

Next year, I believe messaging apps will start to play a bigger role. Brands are increasingly engaging with consumers in BBM Channels and seeing fantastic results (as Qoo10 has), as well as advertising in BBM. Apps and mobile platforms are offering more one-click purchase options, as social and commerce continue to converge.

Get the full roundup of all the numbers on my LinkedIn post.



Top Asian E-tailer Winning in Social and Mobile Commerce with BBM Channels

The intense interest in social and mobile commerce is predicated on this simple fact: where the eyeballs go, so do the potential shoppers. The fast rise of social media and mobile devices is well-documented. Qoo10

BlackBerry, through devices such as our popular new BlackBerry Passport and media services such as the BBM Channels portion of our 91-million-member-strong BBM service, is a leading player in both areas. Publishers and brands can not only market to potential and existing customers via BBM Channels, but through social commerce integration, effectively set up storefronts that sell to customers.

Coca-Cola, Garuda Airlines (Indonesia) and other brands are already reaching customers through their own BBM Channels. But the most successful brand to date has to be Qoo10. Qoo10’s parent company, Giosis, is a Singapore-based joint-venture with eBay that has set up 7 localized online marketplaces in 5 Asian countries, including Japan, Indonesia, China, Malaysia and Singapore.

We’d like to congratulate Qoo10 for reaching one million followers on its BBM Channel. It’s reached that milestone faster than any other BBM Channel to date.

Qoo10 is not only benefiting from a powerful new way to reach and sell to consumers, it’s also gaining a social edge, as BBM Channels’ tight integration with BBM makes it easy for buyers or even browsers to share information about their purchases, potential purchases or desired gifts with friends and family. Social platforms grease the communications wheel in ways that mainstream retail Web sites cannot, at least not easily. Because in a world of information overload and not-sure-if-we-can-trust-them reviews, we still rely heavily on the word-of-mouth of our close confidants.

Moreover, with BBM Money in Indonesia, we are also looking to enable one-click payments for your purchases, taking even more friction out of social/mobile commerce.

If you’re a retailer or a marketer, come take a look at BBM Channels and see if it can help you efficiently reach your potential customers. Or if you’re on the other side, check out BBM Channels to see if your favorite brands are online and offering you attractive deals and coupons. You won’t regret it.

BBM Adds Two New Payment Capabilities

I’m just back from Jakarta, Indonesia, where we announced two new payment capabilities inside BBM. Firstly, an enhanced BBM Money service in Indonesia. Second is integration with TransferTo, an international airtime remittance provider, which will allow you to gift mobile airtime minutes to your BBM Contacts globally.

bmoneyWhen it originally launched years ago, BBM was all about connecting people through instant messaging. Now it has expanded to also connect people with brands and retailers. As we continue to build and improve the platform, we’re working toward making BBM into a thriving marketplace for all kinds of commerce.

I go into all the details about both services in my full post over at the Business Blog, but here’s the executive summary.

TransferTo Integration: Send Airtime Internationally

This new integration lets you give prepaid mobile credit to people in your BBM Contacts list, across town or across a border. As almost 80% of mobile users have prepaid accounts, this feature will make it easier to make small value transfers between friends and family, and stay in touch.

BBM Money: P2P Transfers, Mobile Top-Up, and Bill Pay

bbm-money-2-315x236We’ve been piloting the BBM Money mobile wallet service for the last year on BlackBerry devices. In Jakarta we announced BBM Money will be available by early next year for BBM users on Android and iPhone, in addition to BlackBerry smartphones. The service will allow people to send money to their BBM Contacts, top up mobile airtime accounts, and pay bills, online and at participating retailers. Built by  Monitise Indonesia and issued and managed by PermataBank‎, BBM Money leverages BlackBerry’s legacy in security and privacy, using passcodes and encryption to achieve bank-grade security for a variety of financial transactions.

We’ve gained great insights into the Indonesia marketplace during the pilot service we launched in early 2013, and from next year, will make available an expanded version available to anyone using an Android or iOS device, or a BlackBerry smartphone—no matter which bank they use (if they have a bank). Read more about the features over at the Business Blog.

Indonesia is really the perfect marketplace for BBM Money, for many reasons. It’s the biggest BBM market globally—and it’s growing at a rate of 150% annually. BlackBerry has a very strong brand there—and it shows in a number of awards we’ve won over the past year. It’s not just Indonesian consumers that love BlackBerry and BBM either. Many brands have started their own BBM Channels as a way to connect with their customers, including Coca-Cola, Qoo10, and Garuda Indonesia airline.

Beyond popularity, the Indonesian market is primed for mobile payments. It’s still largely a cash-based economy, and much of the population lacks bank accounts and credit cards. All of that is happening in the world’s fourth largest country by population, which has the second fastest rate of ecommerce growth in the world, behind only China.

Combine all that with BlackBerry’s reputation for mobile security and privacy, and you start to see that mobile payments make perfect sense, especially there, especially now. Get the full story at the Business Blog.