Direct-Carrier Billing Comes to the U.S.
Carrier fragmentation plus technical and regulatory friction in the payment systems for mobile users has hampered the U.S. mobile market since its inception. This has led many marketers to think of “mobile” as “a European thing” — but all that is changing.
According to txtNation, it is offering a direct phone billing solution for the U.S. that is compatible with AT&T, Sprint, TMobile and Verizon Wireless, and which opens new doors for content publishers and marketers — although hardcore pornographers will still find themselves shut out of the equation for now.
Direct carrier billing allows txtNation customers to accept mobile payments without facing the bureaucratic problems caused by differences between mobile operators, providing a seamless purchase process and a better experience for endusers that leads to improved conversion rates. This solution opens the market to those who were previously put off by the difficulties of launching premium services in the U.S. while its ease of use will also attract U.S. businesses that have no experience in mobile payments.
“We are proud to announce the addition of U.S. direct carrier billing to our global billing coverage platform to guarantee a fast, seamless and secure payment process for consumers; and new revenue channels for online merchants,” txtNation’s Chief Business Development Officer Danny Marino stated. “We are pleased to be able to offer realizable billing solutions to customers wishing to sell product and services in the U.S., gaining access to a huge and affluent mobile market.”
Portrayed as a simple “plug-and-pay” option for clients wishing to target consumers in the U.S., txtNation says its solution provides customers with a simple, easy-to-use and clean interface with a consistent and friendly payment flow that lets end users pay with a consistency and friendliness that reduces user confusion, and promises to increase sales conversions and overall consumer trust.
“This has amazing potential to open the market to those who were previously put off by the difficulties of launching premium services in the U.S,,” txtNation COO Ashley Cross stated. “We can’t wait to put this product into the hands of our clients and to support them to monetize their services.”
“Our worldwide platform is about to bring a whole new level of service to those doing business in the states, and we’re excited to see this handed to our clients, many of whom have been calling for such an answer to the fragmentation of approach in that market,” Cross added. “This will truly help provide a consistent, frictionless payment system for mobile user in the U.S.”
According to the company, its new billing option will better unify premium services cross-network, cutting costs and lead times, and giving a timely boost to client campaigns under challenging economic conditions; while eliminating differences among the mobile operators that had previously caused problems for clients — significantly harmonizing services into one distinct platform.
Offering a high level of expertise in direct operator billing technology, txtNation has been instrumental in bringing the U.K.’s Payforit plan to fruition, and is the first British company to integrate and support WyWallet in Sweden; with ongoing efforts to kick start similar payment mechanisms in Ireland, Finland and elsewhere.
As for playing by the rules, txtNation says its expert compliance team offers support and guidance on the often complex regulatory side of the U.S. market and will be on hand to help businesses better leverage Direct Operator Billing.
It is an opportunity well worth considering, given the numbers.
The company’s statistics reveal that conversion rates rise to 85 percent when direct operator billing is available, compared to credit card payments, which can be as low as seven percent, largely due to the improved user experience when purchasing, especially when using a mobile site.
The move is also timely, as mobile Internet use in the U.S. has doubled since 2009, according to a recent study; indicating the need for businesses to adapt their marketing and commerce to cater to today’s increasingly mobile-savvy customer.
The study by the Pew Internet & American Life Project revealed that in 2009, less than a third of American mobile users surfed the web and checked emails via handsets. This year, that percentage has grown to more than 63 percent — a growth rate pointing to the possibility of near universal access within the next three to four years.
These findings illustrate the importance of being prepared to communicate with your customers via their mobile phone, with multiple options for mobile payments, as well as an SMS marketing strategy to drive new customers to your website.
For online marketing mavens that have struggled with reaching the domestic mobile audience, this service from txtNation may make the difference between profit and loss.