Premium SMS has been gradually replaced by a WAP billing experience for mobile content purchases. So says Bango, which processed its 3 millionth Payforit transaction in May. With many of the UKs largest mobile content providers - including The Sun, Gameloft and Sony BMG using Bango to provide Payforit WAP billing, this migration will be further accelerated from today, says Bango, when Vodafone joins O2 and T-Mobile in mandating Payforit compliance for mobile web content sales.
Most of the leading content providers have adopted Payforit to bring a more transparent payment experience to their customers, says Anil Malhotra, Senior Vice President of Alliances at Bango. We welcome Vodafones move that will also help to increase wider consumer awareness of Payforit.
Malhotra adds that despite the major increase in Payforit transactions, most mobile content buyers are unaware of the purpose of the Payforit brand. He notes too that content provider branding will continue to be an important element of the WAP payment flow. This view is suported by Andrew Bagguley, Head of Mobile Strategy at News International, who says:
We encourage all moves to increase awareness of Payforit, but the presence of The Sun brand is the most important factor when our customers buy from us. Providing continuity for our consumers at the point of purchase is critical for maintaining consumer confidence during a transaction.
Bango says that WAP billing has become popular among content providers because the improved consumer experience delivers significantly lower customer care costs. Bango has been processing Payforit transactions since 2007 and says it has achieved very high levels of billing success, with refund levels of less than 0.1%.
Bango has also analysed variances in marketing opt-in levels through the Payforit process. On some networks, the option to receive marketing offers from the content provider is pre-checked. In these cases, Bango has found that a month later, 50% of consumers choose to remain opted-in. This contrasts sharply with networks where the default condition is for the user to be opted-out, in which case, opt-in levels of just 10% are achieved while the user is completing their purchase.
Bango notes that its technology means there are no additional costs to content providers and that no changes are needed to their mobile sites to obtain Payforit compliance. You can download a free Bango Payforit guide here.