It is often the quiet ones that make the biggest steps. And Bango is not necessarily a company you would think of when reviewing a list of billing companies. The company has teamed up with Cardmobili, a digital wallet company that focuses on loyalty services to provide operators with the ability to increase the payment options available to their customers. Now the in-app payment platform that Bango is deploying around the world with operators can be used in-store as well. And the Cardmobili angle means that customers will be rewarded for the pleasure.
This is another example of innovation coming from partnerships.
Bango is best known for its leadership in providing operators with their Direct Operator Billing (DOB) platform, which has been deployed by Telefonica and Telenor, in their BlueVia offering. We have often said that the key to operators’ longevity is in getting their customers to trust them. We have also talked about the loyalty programmes in the retail sector and, frankly, how much better they are at delivering it. We probably all have a loyalty card from our supermarket. We understand that there is value in that card, even if we are not 100 percent sure how to extract it.
We have also said that payments are the new billing. That payments moment is critical to any serious customer experience. If it is easy, if it provides value and makes the experience pleasurable then the customer is happy.
Essentially this offering potentially puts operators into the retail arena. Presumably operators can sign up merchants with joint schemes or go it alone and offer their own loyalty schemes – a bundle of free data or texts when customers spend a certain amount in stores, perhaps.
Whilst this is clearly an opportunity, it also adds yet another option to the ever increasing choice that faces merchants and customers alike. And in this case, too much choice is actually not a good thing. With Apple, Amazon, Google, credit card companies, MCX, PayPal, Facebook and a host of start ups in the game, it is going to be a tough one to win.
But at least now operators can ‘get in the game.’ And in-app billing is probably the easiest payment option.