BlackBerry has over 79 million subscribers and 60 million use the BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) service. Last December BlackBerry announced a pilot project called BBM Money – a service that will first kick off in Indonesia and gives users the ability to send money via BBM to other BBM users in their contact list. At the time Hastings Singh, BlackBerry’s Managing Director of South Asia operations, stated “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.”
According to a report in Bloomeberg, BlackBerry has officially started testing BBM Money with PT Bank Permata (BNLI) and Monitise in Indonesia – where the company has the most market share. PT Bank has about 2 million customers and they’re estimating BBM to have “a few hundred thousand” active users within 12 months. To use BBM Money one would need to download the app and have a device running BlackBerry OS 5, 6 or 7, currently BB10 is not compatible. Sending money to a PT Bank Permata customer is free, but if your BM contacts banks at another financial institution it’ll cost 5,000 rupiah (52 cents).
No indication yet from BlackBerry if BBM Money will come to North America. A detailed video has been uploaded to YouTube that shows BBM Money in action.