BillingViews Finds 15% of US Mobile Users Ready to Adopt Direct-to-Bill Mobile Payment

Written by on April 3, 2013 in BillingViews, Opinion with 3 Comments

Direct-to-bill Mobile Payment is subtly different from Direct-operator-billing. Its a form of consumer behavior where the mobile phone is used as a payment instrument and charges are placed directly on a mobile bill, thus displacing debit or credit card purchases. BillingViews has conducted a preliminary survey of 500 US mobile users – all AT&T Wireless, Sprint, T-Mobile, or Verizon Wireless subscribers – to determine their willingness to adopt direct-to-bill mobile payments.

The idea is very new, and technology is not yet widely available, if at all. Yet, our survey determined that 15 percent of US mobile subscribers may be ready to adopt direct-to-bill mobile payment today. While 70 percent still prefer credit or debit cards, and 15 percent won’t adopt because they just don’t trust their wireless provider, the 15 percent who are potential early adopters represent 30 million people. This number – roughly equal to or greater than the populations of Australia and New Zealand combined – represents critical mass in the marketplace. It also represents a market opportunity for US mobile operators to win as many as 9.1 billion debit transactions per year when they roll out direct-to-bill mobile pay.

You can find a summary infographic here.

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About the Author

About the Author: Ed Finegold is CSO for Validas, a company that specializes in personalized user experiences that leverage analytics-as-a-service to simplify mobile buying, selling, pricing & billing. Ed has been a regular contributor to BillingViews. .


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  1. Gabriel Chagas says:

    The practicality of having small purchases, made with a mobile, charged to a mobile bill is undeniable. However telcos have a lot of catch-up to do – payments is a crowded arena and banks have devised very complex loyalty / rewards schemes to stand-out in this market.
    I just don’t yet see the appeal to replace a credit card with a direct-to-bill alternative, however it might work as a complimentary payment method.

  2. RaviReddy says:

    Isn’t a sample of 500 too small a number to extrapolate to complete nation.Also if if try to extend this scenario to other countries where prepaid is dominant doesn’t the opportunity look weak.The numbers do force a serious thought but is it realistic in next 2 years.

    But yes the number of subscribers and debit transactions even at half the levels is a reason good enough to chase the opportunity. Also as the presentation says ” some customers want loyalty points” , if the service is properly packaged the SP provider will become indispensable and will enable a auto retention capability for customers and might even drive post paid adoption.

    Just curious is there a B2B solution already in place for capturing and transmitted such debit transactions from stores/portals to telcos.

    • Edward Finegold says:

      Lots to respond to…
      “Isn’t a sample of 500 too small a number to extrapolate to complete nation” – That depends on who you ask. According to the error bars, the data we reported was reliable. It also seemed to pass the common sense test.

      “countries where prepaid is dominant doesn’t the opportunity look weak” – Not always, because a) prepaid gives you a basis for micro-debit and b) many of those countries have rapidly emerging middle classes shifting to post-paid.

      “is it realistic in next 2 years” – I don’t think so, just based on a history of industry inertia. Your point is valid.

      “Just curious is there a B2B solution already in place” – Direct to bill charge is pretty prevalent and I think smartphones should provide the POS side. So, the dots are not connected yet, but the slope isn’t all that steep. Technically this isn’t tougher to roll out than LTE networks…The business, regulatory, legal, liability/insurance, issues are the more likely sources of inertia.

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