WhatsApp has shown that having a hugely popular mobile messaging app can be very lucrative and now BlackBerry is looking to cash in on its own widely used cross-platform BlackBerry Messenger service. We already know that BlackBerry is planning to incorporate ads and in-app purchases into BBM but the company on Tuesday unveiled a new version of BBM that could make the mobile messenger into even more of a cash cow.
BlackBerry is exploring whether it might be able to expand use of its BBM service as a way to transfer money in emerging markets where the instant messaging service is popular. “We’re meeting with partners and we are exploring the market,” BlackBerry enterprise unit president John Sims told Re/code in an interview on Tuesday. “Money movement is an important thing.” While plenty of companies are looking at NFC and other technologies to manage payments in mature markets, Sims said he sees potential in developing markets where BBM is popular, such as Indonesia and parts of Latin America. The company has made steps in that direction before. Last year, it began testing a BBM Money service in Indonesia in conjunction with the local Bank Permata.