Carrier billing, which allows consumers to charge mobile transactions to their pre-paid balance or mobile phone bill, is growing in popularity. That’s no surprise since it gives consumers an easy way to make small payments online without having to stop their activity, register at a website and provide credit card or bank information.
But what types of services are consumers using carrier billing transactions to purchase? A recent article at TechCruch
takes a look at a carrier billing survey that provides some answers:
- Online gaming purchases: Online gamers were among the first to adopt carrier billing, and they remain the industry’s top revenue generator, accounting for more than 50% of carrier billing transactions surveyed and growing by nearly 30% year-over-year.
- Online dating services: Carrier billing transactions are also growing fast in the online dating services sector. The survey indicates that online dating-related mobile billing transactions are up 25%.
- Mobile services and ticketing: Online ticket and mobile device service purchases such as ringtones remain strong revenue generators in the mobile carrier payment industry, with these types of transactions continuing to grow.
In the online gaming sector, mobile game purchases brought in approximately $4.50 per month, a growth rate of 10%. Social gaming revenues were up by 40% to an average of $5 monthly and accounted for 5% of all carrier billing payments. Online dating transactions brought in $6.50 per month, and mobile services averaged between $2 and $5.
The survey revealed other trends that indicate continued strong growth potential for carrier billing: In 30 countries in which a carrier billing service was launched, consumers spent up to 80% of the carrier credit available to them. The survey also noted that more than half of users accessed carrier billing options again within six months, with a majority of that group using it five times or more.
In the premium spending sector, premium content such as entertainment offers and special interest social networking services generated up to $10 per month. That amount was similar to the revenue generated by charity spending.
Overall, the survey indicates that the carrier billing industry continues to grow at a rapid pace. It also shows that when merchants and content publishers offer carrier billing as a new option, they can expect an enthusiastic response. This is good news for those looking to generate new sources of income online.
Game developers are creating incredibly entertaining and exciting new applications every day. But like other online content sellers, game developers struggle to monetize their products on a global scale due to the large range of payment options available in different countries.
For purchase of online content credit cards, paypal, mobile wallet, prepaid cards or bank transfer may be offered. However, more people worldwide have mobile phones compared to those with access to the previous payment options.
Mobile carrier billing can be an ideal solution. Game developers can easily add a mobile payment option to their app, allowing gamers to quickly and conveniently make an in-apppurchase. Instead of having to interrupt their activities to register at a website and enter a credit card number, gamers can choose a mobile payment option and make a safe, secure purchase that is added to their mobile phone bill. It takes only seconds and requires no credit card or bank account.
Adding a mobile carrier billing component is also an excellent option for game developers who wish to expand their user base internationally. In many regions of the world, credit card use and banking relationships aren’t as widespread as they are in Western countries, so mobile carrier billing can be a key part of a global expansion strategy.
boxPAY offers a single integration that enables global coverage, allowing game developers to maximize monetization worldwide. With boxPAY’s software development kit, game developers can easily incorporate a mobile payment option that supports their global expansion strategy. boxPAY leverages its relationships with hundreds of carriers in 65 countries to manage localization and handle language translation.
Launching a global monetization strategy doesn’t have to be complicated. With the right partner, mobile game developers can drive new revenue worldwide, leveraging the power of carrier billing and boxPAY’s tools and carrier relationships to make it easy.
There are many components that go into a successful ecommerce venture. Online merchants need to create a site that customers can easily navigate to find the items they want. They must provide complete information to ensure that customers get answers to any questions they may have about a prospective purchase. They must address security concerns so customers will feel confident about making a purchase.
All of these components are important for a successful ecommerce experience. But there’s one crucial area that many online merchants neglect: a positive checkout experience. It’s a critical concern because if customers perceive the checkout process as a hassle, sales can plummet.
For many purchases – especially smaller purchases for digital items – customers aren’t willing to endure the process of registering at a merchant’s site and entering in a long credit card number. This is especially true if they’re buying an item or access to content on a mobile device such as a smartphone or tablet. In that case, merchants can generate higher sales, improve brand loyalty and create a more positive checkout experience if they streamline the buying process.
Mobile carrier billing can be an excellent solution, giving buyers a way to make a purchase by instantly charging the transaction to their mobile phone bill with a single click and confirmation via SMS message. This method takes the hassle out of online checkout since customers aren’t required to register at the merchant’s site or enter in a credit card number.
It’s also a great solution for merchants who operate in parts of the world in which online credit card use is less common. Retailers who currently do business in countries with lower credit card use rates or those looking to expand worldwide can benefit from a mobile carrier billing strategy.
The bottom line is that customers tend to remember their retail experience not only in terms of the quality of the product but also based on how easy it was for them to buy. Online merchants who offer quality goods or content can significantly increase sales and build customer loyalty by making the checkout experience quick and easy for customers with a mobile carrier billing option.
According to a recent Informa Telecoms & Media study highlighted by FierceWireless
, operators will continue to see their share of mobile content revenue decline over the next several years. But as is often the case, when one door shuts, another opens. In this scenario, the opening door is direct carrier billing.
billing can be a great opportunity for operators, who can generate revenue by working with companies to allow customers to charge payments for transactions made via their smartphone to their mobile bill rather than charging the transaction to a credit card. It’s an extremely convenient option for customers making purchases on the go since it doesn’t require them to stop their activity, register at a site and enter in a lengthy credit card number to access content or buy products.
It’s also a terrific opportunity for merchants and content publishers. Carrier billing is already widely used in the mobile gaming world to enable users to make in-app purchases with a single click and follow-up verification via an SMS text. Media companies such as newspapers are adopting the service for mobile content, significantly enhancing the likelihood that readers will make a purchase at the point of sale rather than moving on to another site. Merchants of all types are increasingly using carrier billing to enable mobile purchases because it’s not only convenient for consumers, it can open up new markets, particularly in areas of the world in which credit card use is less common.
Carriers can generate new revenue via agreements with the companies that facilitate mobile billing and from the additional SMS charges that are a key part of the process. The new revenue can help make up the shortfall caused by the overall decline in content revenue carriers are now experiencing, and it can also help increase customer lo
yalty by providing a hassle-free alternative to seller site registration and credit card information requirements. By making mobile billing fast and easy for consumers and content publishers, carriers can stay in the game and thrive in a changing mobile ecosystem.
It was recently announced
that Telefonica, parent company of O2 networks, is jumping on this opportunity and has signed agreements with Facebook, Google and Microsoft to enable carrier payments from their app stores.