BlackBerry has launched a pilot mobile payment service in Indonesia to allow users to transfer money through its instant-messaging service, the smartphone maker announced Tuesday.
With BBM Money, users can create a mobile account from their devices and make real-time payments to their BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) contacts or other bank accounts. They can also buy mobile airtime credit and prepaid SIM cards.
BlackBerry is partnering with Indonesia's PT Bank Permata, which issues BBM Money's mobile accounts. BlackBerry says the service is protected by bank-grade security measures, such as passcode, encryption, monitoring and limits.
The Waterloo, Ont.-based company's decision to debut the service in Indonesia acknowledges BlackBerry's popularity in the country, where the brand is a stronghold in the market of 240 million people.
"BlackBerry leads the mobile and smartphone market in Indonesia, where BBM is extremely popular with our customers," T.A. McCann, vice-president of BBM and social communities at BlackBerry, said in a media release.
"BBM Money, which uses BlackBerry's BBM service, further evolves the BBM experience to move from real-time chat to meaningful and convenient real-time engagement."
The Canadian smartphone pioneer is the latest player in the ecosystem of mobile payment. On Monday, Samsung unveiled a partnership with Visa to incorporate contactless payment technology in future Android devices. The upcoming Galaxy S4, to be launched on March 15, will feature Visa's payWave system.
BBM Money's pilot launch came a month after BlackBerry introduced two new smartphones, Z10 and Q10.