BlackBerry in talks to make BBM a payment platform

BlackBerry z30 hands on

BlackBerry has had a busy day, with CEO John Chen introducing two new phones, announcing a new unified BES platform, and introducing eBBM, a suite of enterprise-ready messaging tools.

But the company isn’t finished with its nuggets of news. In an interview with Re/code, BlackBerry’s head of enterprise, John Sims, said the BBM team is working with potential partners to add money transfer and payment options to BBM.

Money transfer is a key faculty of mobile phones in the developing world, as many banking customers don’t have access to in-person or online payment resources. With a large chunk of BBM’s usage share in Asian and African countries, BlackBerry means to position its messaging platform as a single destination for all peer-to-peer endeavours. They are already testing BBM Money, a pilot payment project, in Indonesia, though only with a single banking partner.

Sims also said that daily registration rates are up 40% since BlackBerry added Gingerbread support to BBM for Android, indicating that a large number of its user base is still on the aging version of Android.