Subscribers of New Zealand’s mobile operator 2degrees who have Android devices are now able to purchase Android apps from the Google Play store and pay for them via the operator. The cost of the app is deducted from prepaid customers’ credit balances or is added, on an itemized list, to the monthly phone bill for Pay Monthly customers. Pay Monthly subscribers are also able to use 2degrees’ Spend Control service to set limits on the amount of their Google Play purchases.
We have written many times about mobile money services provided by operators. However, perhaps due to the lack of high tech processing, such as NFC mobile payments, direct carrier billing is just beginning to be adopted by operators. Nonetheless, according to a report from research firm Analysys Mason, direct carrier billing will provide telecoms around the world with more than US $12 billion in revenue in 2022.
Through direct carrier billing, operators are offering a convenience factor to their subscribers for various types of purchases. In its partnership with Google, 2degrees stands to encourage app purchases. Considering that mobile phone users are purchasing fewer apps for their phones in general, we are not surprised that since April 2014 Google has chosen to partner with many mobile operators worldwide for direct carrier billing services. Currently, direct carrier billing is being used for app purchases such as those from Google or other digital content such as games, music or movies, but it is predicted that it will go beyond that into real-world uses such as parking or event tickets. Since it appears to be a legitimate way to drive revenue, mobile operators would be wise to partner with any type of business for which they can provide this service as the “charge it to my phone” mentality is just beginning to take off for consumers.
The above item appeared in a recent issue of The Tarifica Alert, a weekly resource that analyzes noteworthy developments in the telecoms industry from around the world. To access all of the latest articles and issues: http://www.tarifica.com/TarificaAlert.aspx