Paybox is alive!

I just received an email from paybox that read “Lieber paybox-Kunde, unsere Bemühungen waren erfolgreich: Wir haben mit MOXMO, einem international tätigen mobile-payment-Anbieter, einen neuen Partner gefunden, der Ihnen künftig die bewährten paybox-Dienste in gewohnter Qualität anbieten wird. Die Umstellung ist für Sie mit keinerlei Aufwand verbunden. Nach den Sommerferien ist “Zahlen mit dem Handy” wieder möglich. Der genaue Termin wird schnellstmöglich bekanntgegeben. MOXMO wird den mit Ihnen bestehenden paybox-Vertrag fortführen, die von uns vorsorglich ausgesprochene Kündigung zum 30.06.2003 wird damit hinfällig. MOXMO wird als Ihr neuer Ansprechpartner in alle Pflichten und Rechte eintreten.
Weitere Details und aktuelle Informationen rund um das “Zahlen mit dem Handy” finden Sie unter Sollten Sie individuelle Rückfragen haben, halten Sie bitte Ihre Kundennummer bereit.”

Background: paybox, the world’s first mobile payment service that actually was being used, had announced its retreat from the consumer market due to lack of commercial success earlier this year. Now they’re telling me they’ve sold all their customer’s data to some (presumably) Dutch mPayment company that will revive the service, and that the cancellation of the contract with me as a consumer is lapsed.

Is it really that easy? Don’t get me wrong – I’m really happy if the original service can be restored, I was using it quite a lot. But handing over customer data (limits, payment habits, eventually previous transactions) without asking me first, to a company in a different country! – is that how the company I put my mPayment trust in should be working??? And talking about a lapsed cancellation – pu..llease…. some lawyers are going to have fun, and the privacy groups might also not like this.

Technically, is that even a good idea? What about the data of the consumers that decide not to use the service anymore? What if my mobile phone number changed in the meantime? I’m not sure if I remember my PIN or security question I used half a year ago. Moxmo will need a stiff marketing budget to revive all the dormant customers. Same holds true for the merchants – with low consumer acceptance as of now, will they sign up *again* and integrate the Moxmo payment modules into their mall software??
At the same time, paybox helps to build the Mastercard mPayment system, which will compete with Moxmo in the same market space that was not even big enough for paybox!


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