In the last few weeks, yet another mobile network operator has chosen the Bango Payment Platform for app store carrier billing. Umniah, one of the fastest-growing Jordanian mobile network operators, plans a range of app store connections through Bango’s platform, starting last month with the launch of Microsoft’s Windows Phone Store.
But why are platforms such as Bango becoming more important in the world of app stores and billing? Put simply, it enables consumers (even those without credit cards) to be charged in a more flexible manner, and opens app stores to more people than ever before. Whilst on the operator side, Bango simplifies integrating with each of the various app stores and makes it easier for consumers to obtain content, which in turn drives revenue.
Bango Payment Platform and Umniah team up
The benefit for consumers is that Umniah’s subscribers can use the Windows Phone Store and use one-click carrier billing with the cost charged to their phone bill, without having to use a credit card or even to register their personal details.
Jordan’s Umniah is just one of the regional operators experiencing massive growth in smartphone uptake, with IDC recently announcing that penetration grew from 27% in 2013 to 41.9% by the end of 2012 (an increase of 83%), with forecasts suggesting that penetration will exceed 60% by the end of this year.
Carrier billing is one of the key components of mobile commerce of course, using the phone bill to increase access to the vast universe of games, apps, music and other digital content.
When carrier-based billing has been used in emerging markets (like Jordan), Bango says it routinely sees growth in digital content sales between 300% and 400%. And it seems the app stores are ready to embrace carrier billing via payments platforms such as Bango. Amazon, Samsung, BlackBerry, Facebook, Mozilla, Google and Microsoft have all chosen Bango to power their carrier billing capability.
As far as Windows Phone goes, Microsoft in particular seems to be behind the concept of carrier billing, with around 86 live mobile network operators in 50 countries already live.
Commenting on the deal with Umniah, Bango CEO Ray Anderson said:
“Bango is playing a leading role in rolling out carrier billing across the Middle East, and this is our first integration in Jordan. The world’s leading Mobile Network Operators continue to choose the Bango Payment Platform as a single point of integration to deliver carrier billing in the world’s app stores, and we look forward to activating further stores with Umniah. Bango’s goal is to unite the world’s Mobile Network Operators with the world’s app store giants, maximizing the reach of one-click payment. Each new country that we launch is an important milestone on our journey”.
Commenting on the occasion, Omar Omoush, Umniah’s Marketing Director, added:
“We take pride in this partnership, which is part of Umniah’s continued efforts towards providing the best services to our customers. At Umniah, we are constantly keen on keeping abreast with latest technologies and providing our customers with the latest solutions in the digital world. Our partnership today is a main enabler towards driving mobile commerce, which we believe is the future of commerce”.
In turn, Hussein Malhas, Microsoft Jordan Country Manager, said, “We are dedicated to making the latest technologies and solutions available to customers across Jordan, which has been firmly cementing its standing as a pioneer in the implementation of cutting-edge projects such as the one with Bango and Umniah. At Microsoft Jordan, we strive to support the national plan, which aims to develop and advance the Kingdom’s rapidly growing online payment and telecom industries”.
Mobile Industry Review would like to thank Richard Leyland, VP of Marketing at Bango, for providing us with information used in this article.