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What's Next? Text To Pay

Text donations to aid the people of Haiti have led to speculation that a new trend in telecom may be emerging.
Millions have been raised after a terrible earthquake rocked the region on Tuesday claiming the lives of 50,000 with 3 million more hurt or left homeless.

President Barack Obama immediately pledged $100 million for Haiti quake relief and enlisted two former U.S. presidents to help raise more, vowing to the Haitian people: "You will not be forsaken."

Meanwhile, former Fugees member Wyclef Jean has been urging people to make text donations by simply texting the word "Yele" to the number 501501 – that makes a donation of $5.

Pledges are pouring in. So far Wycler John raised $2 million.

Is a new trend in emerging in telecom – one of text donations? For insights we turned to John Hodulik of UBS

"I think the carriers will increasingly be involved in payments, very sophisticated payments like credit card payments, utility transactions, and sort of just day to day debit card type transactions," says Hodulik.

"But a whole new eco systems needs to develop, the credit card companies will be involved, the banks will be involved, the carriers will play a somewhat minor role but they'll definitely be able to monetize the growth in that area."

If you're looking to play the texting trend, it's good to know that one third of all communications in India is texting. I'd play it with VOD , counsels Tim Seymour.


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