Mobile payment firm paythru has launched an independent in-app payment service, in response to requests from companies at the World Congress in Barcelona (February 2010). The service enables consumers to pay for goods, services or upgrades without having to leave a mobile app. So, for example, if a customer wants to top up a game fee, or upgrade from a free app to a paid service, or access paywalled content from a news service via an app, they can do so without having to go through a separate payment site and risk degrading the app experience. The app developer keeps control of the payment process and the customer relationship. This can be done, for example, to distribute a free app direct to customers, with an option to upgrade or pay for further use.
The in-app payment service uses paythru's secure mobile payments platform, which allows customers to spend what they want, when they want, where they want, through any Internet-enabled mobile phone and using any bank or credit card. Paythru points out that it is the only mobile payment platform that is Level 1 PCI DSS compliant, delivering the same standard of security as retail bank and card issuers, protecting both merchants and customers.
"The biggest discussions at Mobile World Congress were around how to monetise apps effectively," says
Paythru Managing Director, Keith Brown. "Applications have the potential to be great marketing or sales tools, but they're no good if you can't make revenue from them either because you have no option to upgrade a free app to a paid service, or because you're giving away a large percentage of your download revenues to an app store. We were asked to help solve that problem, and so we developed the in-app payment system."
Dataquest estimates that more than 4.5 billion mobile applications will be downloaded worldwide in 2010, bringing in some $6.8 billion (£4.5 billion) to app stores worldwide. More than eight in 10 applications downloaded this year, however, will be free.
paythru's service works internationally and provides a multi-currency option, enabling app developers to accept international and local cards and integrate with more than 40 banks worldwide.