BilltoMobile Inks Deals With Three of the Four Major U.S. Carriers to Enable Mobile Payments
BilltoMobile has now secured deals with three of the four largest U.S. carriers to enable consumers to make purchases using their mobile phones.
The San Jose, Calif.-based company is announcing this morning that it has finalized a partnership with Sprint to enable its customers to charge small items to their Sprint bills.
T-Mobile USA is the only one of the majority carriers left without an agreement, but you can safely assume one is coming soon.
BilltoMobile, which is majority owned by Korean-based Danal, already inked deals with Verizon Wireless in May, and AT&T in October.
In some circumstances, other other mobile-payment partners, including Boku and Zong, are piggy-backing on BilltoMobile’s relationships, so they can also enable mobile payments.
To be technical, the deal with Sprint is a Direct Mobile Billing Gateway Service Provider agreement. It essentially means that it has a direct line into the carrier’s billing systems, so that small purchases will be charged to the mobile bill.
The deal does not extend beyond digital goods to more expensive physical goods like books from Amazon.com.
Through BilltoMobile’s direct relationships with carriers, it has been able to significantly lower fees to make charging items to the phone bill feasible. Those fees have fallen significantly for digital items, which have high margins, but are often not low enough to make charging physical items reasonable. So, currently, the rates are appropriate for charging virtual good inside a Facebook game, or maybe even a song or purchase of a higher level in a video game.
As we previously reported, Zong told us that some physical goods with higher margins will be enabled sooner than you think.
BilltoMobile said Sprint’s implementation is expected in the coming months.
The company now reaches more than 240 million wireless subscribers in the U.S. across mutliple carriers, including Sprint, AT&T and Verizon Wireless.
To make payments, customers don’t have to register, set up or download anything. Purchases are completed in seconds using a two-step authentication process.
PayPal is also going after this space, however, this year it will also be focusing on rolling out an in-store solution to allow consumers to use their PayPal account at the register.