So is Direct Carrier Billing, the future of mobile payments?

For me the answer is simple, yes. The reasons for this are many and I have compilied a list at the bottom of this post. txtNation are currently reviewing Direct Operator Billing in several markets, including Ireland, UK, Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden. With further countries on the horizon. At this time txtNation have the other options available from PSMS, WAP Billing (PayForIt), Credit Card and IVR.

Is this going to replace Premium SMS?

No! Well that’s my opinion atlaest for the short to mid term. As with all new technolgies, Direct Operator Billing will take time to buld up i) momentum and ii) acceptance. New regulations will also have to be put into place governing how and where this can be used.

The actual technique of the billing using the ‘Operator Gateway’ is a perfect fit for some of the new applications and services built to use single ‘one click’ purchases.

Premium SMS will always have its place for more traditional type of services. That is for sure.

Right now, txtNation are gearing up for this and have already started integrations and review of the business model. Expect an API in the not to distant future!

My 5 Reasons why Direct Operator Payments will be big!

  • Increased Conversion rate with DOB!
  • Dynamic price points!
  • Less leakage! more users billed!
  • Better and more fluid user experience
  • Transparency of out payments.

Direct-to-Operator billing has many technical and commercial advantages, it will only replace Premium Rate SMS in the long term, if it can be demonstrated to be commercially attractive for all involved - the networks, clients and customers!

By 2020, Direct-to-Operator Bill payments will have expanded content service owners revenues from US$5 Billion to nearly US$40 Billion.

In summary,  is this really the  next big thing – yes!

In addition, the Direct Carrier Payment model extends the reach of networks to administrative systems outside of the traditional mobile market – this is a potentially massive opportunity for providing consumers with all in one and standardised billing option for content delivered to PCs, Pads, Internet TV’s, not just mobile phones!

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Author: Michael Whelan

QR Codes head to head with SMS!
I am a fan of QR codes and SMS for Marketing, simply becuase it adds an extra dimension to the overall user experience. Both take marketing into an extra dimension.

More and more  media companies are embracing these techinoges into their marketing mix.

The advantages of using QR Codes
QR Codes can be displayed just about anywhere like on t-shirts, packages, statues, stickers, etc. After scanning a code, a user can see a mobile web page, watch a video, make a call, and more. If you use a QR Code service provider, you will even be able to track how many people scan your code, where people scan it, how long people spend on your site after scanning your code, total number of website pages individuals view after scanning your QR code, etc. However, although this information is cool to know, the real insight is actually measuring your offline media and discovering which media channel actually reaches more of your target audience.

Can this be done with SMS?

No, unless you want to create a different sms keyword for each publication you are running ads on, but no marketer in their right mind would do that.

I keep hearing about the benefits of PayForIt over traditional Premium Short Code billing. Well I have decicded to take these arguments for each up against each other to see why people are tuning into the buzz surrounding PayForIt. For the sake of easy reading and clarity I have complied these arguments into a list.

Customer Pro’s!

Convenience – Consumers do not need to register during the checkout process when using PayForIt. Fast, easy and seamless.

Consistency - The pages are locked and the price, terms and company info cannot be changed meaning greater trust. With Short Codes you have to make your own display of your own call to action.

Ease of use – But is that greater than Premium SMS using Short Codes? This debate will carry on.

Trusted Logo – Well it’s early days, but this has potential!

Merchant Pro’s! The main 3.

Higher Conversion Rate - Well that’s what the debate is. Does it really convert better than Premium Rate Call or SMS? Only time will tell.

Opt-In’s are more sticky - Seamless customer payment experience meaning customers are not leaving the site.

Opens up new marketing channels - This is a biggy. The ability to up sell to other services on the back of PayForIt, shows promise.

Author: Michael Whelan

Today there are many ways to pay via the mobile. The most common Premium SMS is still at the forefront of merchants payment options.

There are however a few new kids on the block. The most recent being PayForIt, which is a prebuilt service that bills direct to the phone, via interfacing a WAP or Mobile site.

Payforit allows customers to purchase content or services on the mobile and the internet and charge it to their mobile phone. PayForIt has been mandated by all UK Mobile Networks.

Another option is Direct to Phone Billing to which operators are starting to push.

Whatever the billing and whether is uses a Short Code using SMS or PayForIt via the WAP deck, the customer is billed and gets a receipt of their transation.

What options becomes most common? Well that depends on many variables, including the market (country), the type of service, the marketing and the audience. There may not be one winner in all of this each having their own advantages for specific purposes.

Author: Michael Whelan