enters mobile booking arena

Bedbank has teamed up with The Handy Group to create an accommodation search and booking service for mobile phones.

Hotels4u head of e-commerce Steven Moore described the service as a ‘working prototype’, enabling consumers to search live availability and booking via a secure payment engine.

Moore said the service had been in development for some time and described the mobile arena as complex.

“In the WWW world you have a browser and windows covering the vast majority of users but the mobile arena is very different. The challenge is to get it to work on everyone’s phone, browser and network provider.”

Moore said the success of the mobile service would depend on its adoption through the networks and that Handy was handling those negotiations.

However, Moore was doubtful about whether the market was mature enough for bookings via mobile devices.

“I still don’t see users booking through that channel but it’s not far off. We have done it to create the platform and learn from it.”

Moore also said the company had considered the marketing potential for mobile such as alerts and post-booking information but that the current focus was on the consumer website.

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