Telefónica adds operator billing in app stores

Spanish operator group Telefónica is looking to facilitate direct operator billing for customers in mobile app stores. The firm’s Telefónica Digital unit, which is tasked with seizing opportunities in the digital world and delivering new growth for the operator, has signed a global framework agreement with mobile payments and analytics company Bango. The two companies will partner globally to create an enhanced operator payment experience for app stores.

The firms will integrate Telefónica’s BlueVia billing API into Bango’s payments platform. Bluevia is the global platform from Telefónica aimed to help developers take apps and web services to market.

According to Bango, direct operator billing is particularly important in developing markets, where penetration of bank accounts and credit cards is low. Trials of direct to bill in Telefónica operating businesses have proven its ability to drive sales, and the enhanced platform will enable app stores to generate higher payment conversion rates, the firm added.

“Telefonica and Bango share a strategic vision: to widen access to paid content by standardising and simplifying operator-billed mobile payments,” said Bango CEO Ray Anderson.

“We will standardise on BlueVia to connect with Telefónica’s 314 million subscribers around the world and look forward to welcoming other operators who join this initiative, as Telenor has done”.

Jose Valles, head of BlueVia at Telefónica Digital, added: “Through this partnership, we are delivering a mobile billing ecosystem that empowers the app store and content owners to achieve mass scale in their business through global reach and a payment method far broader than credit cards”.

Last year, Telefónica secured global framework agreements with Facebook, Google, Microsoft and Research In Motion to offer carrier bill payments as a means of driving the monetisation of mobile content.

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