trends

Reducing the Friction in Mobile-Friendly Adult Billing

Stephen Yagielowicz

XBIZ World recently asked some of today’s top billing companies about the current trends in mobile-friendly transaction processing. Here’s what they had to say.

According to Mobius Payments’ CEO Mia Zhu, the “tap and go” market of mobile friendly wallets such as PayPal, Apple Pay and V.me has seen amazing growth, but the adult marketplace has seen very little in innovation as far as e-wallets that service the adult market.

Although these types of transactions are easy to implement and secure, they do not offer automatic recurring billing, which can be a deterrent for merchants with membership programs,” said Mobius Payments’ CEO Mia Hyun, discussing mobile wallets. -Mia Hyun, Mobius Payments

“Mobile wallets are a one-time pay system,” Zhu told XBIZ. “Although these types of transactions are easy to implement and secure, they do not offer automatic recurring billing, which can be a deterrent for merchants with membership programs.”

SegPay’s Cathy Beardsley notes that profitable mobile transaction processing is all about the ease of checkout for the consumers.

“Credit cards, local card options and bank transfers are good alternatives for a mobile checkout,” Beardsley told XBIZ. “E-wallets are also a great option, but they are not as available to the adult market as they are to the mainstream world. Carrier billing also seems like a good option for certain markets and business models.”

Unfortunately, most adult entertainment offers to U.S. consumers are not among those markets and business models where carrier billing is allowed. NETbilling’s Mitch Farber told XBIZ that since phone carrier billing doesn’t support adult in the U.S., being able to process credit, debit and checks in fast-loading friendly payment forms, is a key to success.

“We are seeing more than 40 percent of online purchases coming from mobile devices now, including smartphones and tablets,” Farber says. “While adult content is still heavily viewed on desktops, this is rapidly changing.”

“Offering the ability for one-click purchases greatly increases sales for return buyers,” Farber added, “and should be part of every merchant’s offerings.”

Epoch’s Rand Pate notes that nearly all of the considerations that are important in the desktop marketplace are even more significant on mobile devices.

“While reducing friction during a transaction is important from a full-size keyboard, it’s even more significant on the small screens of mobile hardware,” Pate explains. “What is undeniable is that the trend of e-commerce is moving from the desktop to mobile devices [so] the payment mechanisms that can provide the most friction-free and secure mobile purchase experience will be the big contenders.”

Pate says that the shift to mobile is not limited to the adult market, and directly correlates to what mainstream merchants are experiencing.

“There are some major players that have their sights keenly trained on e-wallets,” Pate said. “These stand to see significant growth in the foreseeable future [because] they offer several advantages over direct credit card use in terms of user convenience, additional security, and loyalty rewards.”

Pate also notes that PayPal is the 800-pound gorilla in alternative payment options.

“What may be PayPal’s weakest area is the limited number of ways an account can be funded,” Pate told XBIZ. “However, every country (with the exception of China) where they currently allow users to fund an account electronically, accept MasterCard and Visa. It will be interesting to see if PayPal will expand to include other foreign/local payment types as load options.”

Pate revealed that in Epoch’s experience, Belgium and Germany drive the highest numbers in e-wallet transactions using PayPal, MisterCash, and ClickandBuy payment options. Additionally, the company also accepts Abaqoos, ePay, Qiwi, and YandexMoney as e-wallet payment options in other countries.

“While there is an obvious shift in transactions from desktop to mobile, many times we find that sites aren’t always 100 percent up to the task,” Pate concludes. “Online merchants should test their sites on various mobile platforms to note the customer experience.

“Oftentimes important information such as disclosures, terms of the sale, and even the path to purchase become difficult to navigate [and] with the growing percentage of sales coming from mobile, it is no longer an option to focus on the mobile user experience.”

It seems that there is little revolutionary afoot in the adult mobile alternative billing space, but rather a focus on maximizing the effectiveness of current platforms, proving the value of perfecting the basics in 2015.

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