Telefónica Signs Billing Payment Deals with Google, Facebook, Microsoft and RIM
Telefónica has signed agreements with Facebook, Google, Microsoft and RIM to enable direct-to-bill payments for its subscribers. Users will be able to pay for goods – most commonly in-app purchases, or for apps themselves, but also potentially for physical products – on their mobile phone by charging the amount to their phone bill or prepaid credit.
If there's an obvious name missing from that list of app platform providers, it's Apple, which doesn't allow the billing method in its iOS apps – but Telefónica Digital CEO Matthew Key still thinks it's a significant step forward for the world of mobile payments.
“Few organisations can claim to have a direct billing relationship with hundreds of millions of customers globally,” says Key. “The creation of Telefónica Digital has allowed us to better harness the power of this capability and use it to help drive the mobile monetisation strategies of some of the world’s largest technology companies. We believe that direct to bill will become an increasingly significant part of the overall mCommerce market.”
The payments capability has started to be rolled out in Europe, and Telefónica says its plans to have it live globally in 14 of its operating businesses by the end of the year.