Paul Sawers was a reporter with The Next Web in various roles from May 2011 to November 2014. Follow Paul on Twitter: @psawers or check h Paul Sawers was a reporter with The Next Web in various roles from May 2011 to November 2014. Follow Paul on Twitter: @psawers or check him out on Google+.
On-demand billing platform Vindicia has announced a partnership with mobile platform Boku, which will allow its gaming clients such as Moshi Monsters, Poptropica, Binweevils, Trion, Cryptic and Activision Blizzard, to bill via mobile phone operators.
Vindicia provides marketing and selling automation to digital companies, and with the addition of mobile carrier billing support to CashBox, its marketing, CRM and billing engine, its clients will be able to accept mobile payments from consumers in 67 countries and across more than 240 mobile network operators.
The implications of this new tie-up are potentially big, given that it bypasses the need for the end-user to have a credit card or bank account, which means that younger people – a burgeoning demographic within online gaming – will be able to gain direct access to premium and paid-for content, as it will be billed directly to their mobile carrier. Of course, this will rely on parents willingly providing their children with a contracted mobile phone to use.
“Game publishers have been working hard to entice free-to-play customers into paid-for content and goods,” says Gene Hoffman, Vindicia CEO. “Allowing customers to pay via their mobile bill will literally be game-changing.”
Vindicia manages 120 million customer accounts on behalf of its clients and, over the past twelve months, it has managed US$2.5 billion in global revenues through CashBox.
London-based Moshi Monsters, which lets players adopt their own virtual pet Monster, alone has been attracting over two million new players a month. And according to Juniper Research, mobile payments are expected to nearly triple over the next three years to US$670 billion – with in-game virtual goods accounting for 40% of that spend.
Boku was founded in 2009, and the San Francisco-based startup’s technology lets users pay online using their mobile number, and saves them having to enter long credit numbers each time they want to buy something on the Web. On the retailers’ side, Boku also creates software for merchants to process payments and then takes a cut of the transaction.
Facebook is one of Boku’s highest-profile customers, letting users buy Facebook Credits to acquire virtual goods. Last week we reported that Boku had launched ‘Accounts’, as it looks to extend its mobile payment platform to cover a much broader e-commerce scope, and enabling transactions to be carried out at point-of-sale (POS) in stores.
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