What is Bango doing in China?

What-is-Bango-doing-in-ChinaBango 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.

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INFOGRAPHIC: Bill shock? More like bill s t r e t c h

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Infographic

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

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What does a Bango Partnership with Etisalat mean?

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

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Freemium wins out: Proof

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

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Wearable tech and mobile payment: new possibilities

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Image courtesy Flickr user Thomas Hawk

Did you go to Mobile World Congress in Barcelona back in February? If you did, there’s a good chance that the show gave you your first glimpse of Google Glass ‘in the wild’.

Google Glass has the tech world hugely excited, but the devices themselves have been rare. Only 10,000 were initially released, as part of an “Explorer Program”, which Google hopes will inspire developers to build innovative apps for the platform. It’s clear that many of those ‘explorers’ made their way to Barcelona, as Bango saw dozens of Google Glass wearers at MWC 2014. The big news earlier this month was that Google Glass was made available to the general public, though Google slammed the door shut after a few hours. Continue reading

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Operator Billing

Last week BlackBerry celebrated the 5th anniversary of the BlackBerry World storefront. They’ve released an infographic to coincide with the anniversary, highlighting its growth, including the success of operator billing. In BlackBerry’s own words:

“We… set out to ensure purchases were simple, especially for emerging markets. This led to our decision to invest aggressively in carrier billing. Today, we are a global leader in this respect – 77 partners in 51 countries around the world offer carrier billing”. Continue reading

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Under the lid of the world’s most reliable payments platform

Bango’s latest short film is out this week. It’s focused on the teams and systems that underpin our operational expertise. The Bango Payment Platform handles payment for many of the giants of mobile, including Google, Facebook, BlackBerry and others. The platform is underpinned by 24×7 continuous, proactive management of all parts of the payments chain, and we’ve made significant investment to ensure we provide reliability that goes beyond carrier grade. Continue reading

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