The concept of Mobile Commerce, also referred to as M Commerce, refers to commercial transactions which take place through the medium of a mobile communication device like a cell phone or some other kind of widely available device. According to the widely used M commerce definition, this kind of activity can involve the mobile device in question and of whatever kind is specifically in use being used either to initiate or complete, if not both, the commercial transaction at issue.
Mobile commerce can be traced back as a practice to Helsinki, Finland in 1999. At this point, M commerce was created specifically as a capability for soda vending machines, which could have payment made to them through text messages sent on mobile phones. As a subject for enterprise and study, M commerce was formally conceived and pursued as a practice in the next few years.
Initially, mobile commerce was most noticeably based in the SMS capacity for mobile phone text messaging. As M commerce has come to assume a more financially significant area of the overall category for electronic commerce, communications companies have made efforts toward developing applications for M commerce independent of SMS activities.
As of 2010, a wide range of functions had been made available to mobile commerce. In this regard, people can use M commerce functions for bidding in auctions, purchasing items listed in catalogs, and making transactions in the stock market. Mobile commerce has also been extended toward delivering current and updated information on topics like current affairs and sports.