What is the place of Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) in the mobile payment space? It’s a question that’s been asked over many years, as challengers have emerged from Silicon Valley, disrupting the operator’s traditional revenue streams, and competing to develop next-generation mobile payment technologies, including NFC, digital wallets and more.
Several developments in the last few weeks have seen this question come back to the fore. From the launch of Apple Pay, to the growing pains faced by Isis/Softcard, MNO-led models to widen the mobile payment market are under serious pressure. It’s a good time therefore to recall that Direct Carrier Billing, frictionless charge-to-bill payment, is not just a rare ace card for MNOs, but is in fact underpinning huge growth in digital content sales, and driving the global app economy to new heights. Continue reading
We recently completed an upgrade of the Bango Payment Platform. The results are:
- Connection speed from our platform to mobile operators and app stores is 35% faster, reducing the time to process all payments even more
- A 30% reduction on the average time to authorize payments, using the latest equipment to super charge the whole system
- The platform can handle a 20x increase in payment traffic, allowing greater scale without disruption
With app market revenue alone estimated to hit $77 billion by 2017 according to Gartner, Bango is investing ahead to support our customers.
This is another reason why we’re chosen by more major app stores than any other payments provider.
Download our latest newsletter for app stores and discover how the Bango Platform makes operator billed payments as simple for app stores to offer as credit card payments.
In the year to June 2014, app stores sold $18BN of games, music, movies, books and a vast range of other applications. Sales for 2014 will grow to exceed $23BN, and there are strong signs that this pace of growth will continue over the next 5 years. Continue reading
Bango does not currently provide its Direct Carrier Billing service in China, where regulation requires the Chinese operators to tightly control how customers are allowed to pay for mobile services on their phone bills. This includes the requirement for users to continually verify payments through SMS confirmation, a process which is incompatible with app store checkout flows.
China has a huge subscriber base distributed across three main operators. The billing systems aggregate multiple regional network systems, which means that it is not possible to operate an “order to cash” system, where there is certainty of settlement. Speed of settlement is also slower than many global companies are used to, and bad debt is comparatively high. The cumulative costs of charging to mobile phone bills is therefore much more expensive than headline payout rates (which are currently low by international standards).
The Chinese market is almost entirely served by local Chinese content and billing providers. A very few non-Chinese companies have some PSMS connectivity on the back of local Chinese aggregators. It is very hard for non-Chinese companies to be licensed to operate payments businesses and settling funds outside of China is expensive and time-consuming.
Today Bango is focused on Chinese partners who are working globally, such as Huawei and on developers who want to sell their products to an international audience. In time Chinese operators may offer more favorable carrier billing terms and technology for global app stores, which will provide opportunity for Bango to offer Direct Carrier Billing.
There have been several news stories in the last few years contributing to the fear that the rise of smartphones, the shift to in-app payment for virtual goods and the introduction of frictionless, one-click payment all combine to produce massive bill shock. The standard story is that children get hold of their parent’s mobile phone and run up huge bills. So where does the truth lie?
Bango powers payment for most of the world’s largest app stores. Our technology allows users to charge the cost of a digital purchase to their phone bill, in one click. Global leaders plugging into Bango include Amazon, BlackBerry World, Facebook, Firefox Marketplace, Google Play and Windows Phone Store. Continue reading
Bango has signed an agreement with Etisalat, to deploy Direct Operator Billing (DOB) across the group’s markets in Asia, the Middle East and Africa. The established partnership between Bango and Etisalat has already seen DOB launched for users of BlackBerry World. This new agreement will deliver further app store integrations, beginning on 5 June, 2014 with Google Play. Continue reading
The emergence of the app economy has brutally exposed the limitations of many established business models. The basic model of pay to play has been severely challenged. The average smartphone user now expects most of the content they consume to be free, and is rather unlikely to pay for content until they’ve played with it, tested it, and want to go deeper. This is the “freemium” model, whereby an application gives away its core functionality for free and offers upgrades, normally in-app purchases, to add certain features. Continue reading