UK operators could soon be facilitating payments for physical goods bought by subscribers via carrier billing services. Direct operator billing firm, Mach, has now signed Vodafone, Everything Everywhere, O2 and 3UK up to its Direct Operator Billing platform for digital goods, and said that the use of such a solution to purchase physical goods is on the horizon.
“In the UK, right now, the billing solution is for digital goods and app purchases, but there’s certainly a move towards physical goods as well,” said Michael De Jongh, sales director for mobile billing and payments at Mach.
“If this situation arises, then the potential benefits to operators will be significant and may fundamentally alter the role of the operator in our lives,” he added.
De Jongh added that the solution that Mach is now providing to all four of the UK’s mobile network operators supports the latest version of the operator-led mobile payments scheme, Payforit 4. Payforit is a trusted kitemark for consumers, and offers online merchants, operators and carrier billing solutions providers with assurances of who the customer is.
The transaction is presented in a bill format, giving the customer the date, time, merchant name and the amount that was deducted in the bill, rather than just the short-code and an amount, which was the case previously.
“We believe this slick and easy payment method backed with the security of the UK wide mobile payments scheme, Payforit, will be the future for apps payments and will overtake the credit card or voucher payment methods that are hostile to a small screen,” added Rory Maguire, head of payment services at 3UK.
With Amazon and Google launching smart home initiatives, have the telcos missed out on their chance to cash in on this market?
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