Telenor Hungary has partnered with local payment services provider Fizetesi Pont to launch a joint electronic payment offer for merchants and service providers using online cash registers. Merchants and other service providers are legally obliged to provide an electronic payment platform beginning on 1 January 2021.
The new platform offers an introductory two-year exemption from monthly fees, a low transaction fee of 0.95 percent, and crediting of purchase transactions to merchant accounts within 24 hours.
Merchants do not need to fund the POS terminals out of their own resources. If they buy a new terminal, they can apply for a government grant of HUF 80,000 (US $263.00) paid out in monthly installments over two years. Telenor gives them a 30 percent discount on the network fee.
The payment platform is available with a contract signed for three or five years. No monthly minimum turnover is required to be eligible for the service.
This partnership indicates a direction that certainly not all mobile operators are capable of going in but that is very appealing for those than can. In the general race to find revenue streams that go beyond the traditional and now commodity-like services, bespoke applications that can be sold to business customers bring the benefits of economies of scale, secure revenue over time and fuller use of network capacity.
The POS terminals running on Telenor’s connectivity are excellent points of sale in themselves for the operator, but what makes this opportunity particularly persuasive is the fact that the merchants and service providers are essentially a captive audience, since they are mandated by Hungarian law to start offering this electronic payment platform as of the new year.
Not only that, but the government, perhaps realizing the severity of the demand, is providing loan funding for the subscriptions to the POS service. Since Telenor does not have to worry about customers’ ability to pay, it can afford to be generous with a 30 percent discount and no minimum transaction level.
This kind of public help for a private venture is not the norm, but where it does occur, MNOs will gladly take advantage of them. By finding an appropriate technology partner and getting there first, Telenor Hungary has taken control of what promised to be a very lucrative piece of business.