RIM’s BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) service is a very important part of their overall business. Globally there’s 60 million BBM users and growing. Many use the service as a reliable messaging option as it has unique features that allow you to see if your contact has read your message, but recently RIM has added capabilities to share music, plus will be launching BBM Voice in the coming weeks – which allows you to make free calls to your BBM contact over Wi-Fi. In addition, when the new BlackBerry 10 OS is officially available, BBM users will be able to use BBM Video Chat.
Next up for RIM is an entry into the money game. Back in October Thorsten Heins, RIM’s CEO, said BBM is “a very strong platform not just for communication, but also to make it a strong platform for [e-commerce]… Think about transacting money.”
This is exactly what RIM is planning for their customers in Indonesia. Hastings Singh, RIM’s Managing Director of South Asia operations, stated “Indonesia is very important for RIM… It’s a huge market for us – and it is a market that has grown significantly over the last few years… So we are offering a new innovation – BBM Money which will be launched in Indonesia – first in the world – shortly. It is a peer-to-peer transfer service that anyone with a BlackBerry phone can use to transfer funds to someone else with a BlackBerry phone.”
RIM has always been known for security and this service, especially as it deals with currency, will hopefully have some additional features that will make transactions safe. There’s no indication that the app will reach North American shores, but this adds another layer of loyalty to RIM’s BBM subscribers base.