Payments provider Boku has secured partnerships with all major UK operators to expand carrier billing.
The collaboration with O2, Vodafone, EE and Three will allow network customers to make purchases using their mobile number, with items charged to their phone bill.
This will be enabled through the Qjacker app, run by Boku partner Verteda. The service is currently available at venues such as The O2 Arena & Lord’s Cricket Ground although Boku did not confirm which venues would be included as part of the new network collaborations.
According to Boku CEO Jon Prideaux, UK networks are turning to carrier billing to get closer to their main assets; their subscriber base. Speaking to Mobile recently, he said: ‘MNOs are seeing the potential of being able to monetise their real assets. In the past this was networks and licenses, now their assets are their customer base and carrier billing is where they can sell more when times are reasonably tough. ARPU is going down and this is an extra source of revenue. It works and it helps to cement brand loyalty and increase stickiness.’
Describing carrier billing as the next step for mobile payments, Prideaux commented on the brand’s new network partnerships: ‘For years’, he said, ‘we’ve seen the great benefits carrier billing provides to all of the largest online retailers, from Facebook, to Google, to Microsoft and Sony. Leveraging the immediacy and low friction of mobile checkout to streamline the physical purchase process is the next great frontier in payments.’
The issue of carrier billing has seen operators face a legal backlash relating to direct-to-bill fraud. Mobile reported last year that Vodafone was taken to court over a scam that exploited its PayforIt carrier billing service.