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Deutsche Telekom CEO wants to expand m-payment service

Monday 11 May 2015 | 11:38 CET | News
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Deutsche Telekom's acquisition of online payments provider ClickandBuy was a failure as the service could not be standardised, according to CEO Timotheus Hoettges in an interview with German magazine Wirtschaftswoche. He was co-responsible for the acquisition in 2010 as he was CFO of the company at the time. He also said that he wants to try to create a mobile payment service that includes all German operators and banks. 

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Categories: Internet / Mobile & Wireless
Companies: ClickandBuy / Deutsche Telekom
Countries: Germany
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Comments

The rather brief Wirtschaftswoche article failed to provide readers with any insight into what CEO Hoettges meant by "standardize" the ClickandBuy service and whether Deutsche Telekom's quest to impose what they deemed standardization was the reason for the failure. Having worked at ClickandBuy LLC from 2004-2007 (prior to DT's acquisition), the service worked quite well with BT and Swisscom ("BT ClickandBuy" and "Swisscom ClickandBuy"). While BT & Swisscom weren't scaling at a rate desired by the then parent's board, the service worked as a eWallet in terms of integrating with merchants and being used by consumers. Having sold a $5M+ licensing deal to TelMex for TelMex ClickandBuy, the service was ahead of its time (vis-à-vis the likes of today's Boku, Bango, Fortumo and nearly 2 dozen similar firms in this space now focused on providing similar Direct Carrier Billing capability to MNOs globally). TelMex failed to align and control their operational leadership to ensure implementation of ClickandBuy. Even AT&T and Yahoo! gave verbal commitments to 7 figure deals for respective customized versions of ClickandBuy, plus Carriers globally were working their way through the sales funnel ... until ClickandBuy's Board decided to abandon partnering with Carriers in 2007 due to Carriers' slow pace (from lengthy sales cycles to lack of implementation speed to lack of scaling speed). Consultants had warmed ClickandBuy's Board years earlier that the speed of Carriers will bleed many partners dry. After the DT acquisition, I still had access to leadership at the acquired ClickandBuy. DT did nothing to assist with helping merchants drive awareness and consumer use of ClickandBuy (now absent a Carrier Billing payment option). Therefore, to ClickandBuy merchants, ClickandBuy represented low single digit incremental revenues. Complicating matters, my understanding is that DT then imposed on ClickandBuy merchants to invest in IT work to accommodate DT imposed standardization. Merchants of course decided why bother and left ClickandBuy. When post mortem quotes, articles (etc.) are incomplete and/or inaccurate, helpful; lessons cannot be learned.
John BaRoss @ 12/5/2015 - 18:13


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