Billing Built in

There is a “swirl of things going on in payments” observed David Porter, GM for JP Morgan Chase and then showed us the way forward by saying the industry “will settle on the next universally updated payment methodology in the US, …which we still don’t know at this time.”

Amongst this swirl of wallets and widgets and NFC enabled gadgets that are spreading confusion throughout the banking industry lies one real, immediate and golden opportunity for telcos.

The thing is this: there is one universally (accepted) payment methodology in the US (and the rest of the world) – the phone bill.

And behind the scenes and increasingly in front as well, in-app billing is on the rise. There are standards, produced by the most powerful industry body on the planet. There are trials and there is support for players, both big and small. The biggest, coolest apps use it, telling us that it is the most intuitive and easy way to pay. Google knows it and Facebook wants to marry the mobile industry to get at it.

The tried, tested, micropayment based billing that the telecoms industry has been using for decades is the most user friendly, intuitive way to pay for content. It is, we conclude, the best for customers and the best for operators.

If Google, Facebook and Angry Birds say so maybe even the lack of billing leadership from telecoms companies will not matter and it will become the defacto payment solution anyway.

Let us hope so, the telecoms industry needs to recoup some the billions it has invested in billing over the last two decades.

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About Alex Leslie 400 Articles
Alex was Founder and CEO of the Global Billing Association (GBA), a trade body focused on the communications sector. He is a sought after speaker and chairman at leading industry conferences, and is widely published in communications magazines around the world. Until it closed, he was Contributing Editor, OSS/BSS for Connected Planet.

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