Mobile Commerce Daily is now Retail Dive: Mobile Commerce! Click here to learn more!

BilltoMobile unveils global ambitions for mobile payments service

Launching next month in partnership with key mobile payment service players, the beefed-up BilltoMobile offering will help merchants in more than 60 countries, especially those in Europe.

“What we’re finding is that a number of U.S. merchants are also having a global reach, so we simply want to provide them with the best mobile payments experience and rates available,” said Jim Greenwell, president/CEO of BilltoMobile, San Jose, CA.

BilltoMobile has contracts with Verizon Wireless, AT&T and Sprint, the nation’s three largest carriers, for its proprietary Direct Carrier Billing service. The service is available to 190 million subscribers nationwide.

Deal and more deals
Now, the company has partnered with Mobile First, a U.S.-based mobile payments service with international reach, to access 200 carriers in the European Union, Asia and South America.

The Mobile First relationship was enabled by Danal Co. Ltd., the Seoul, South Korea-based majority equity owner in BilltoMobile.

BilltoMobile is in the process of signing partnerships with a couple of other compatible mobile billing providers to service other parts of the world where it does not have reach.

Subscribers in markets served by the BilltoMobile-affiliated carriers will be able to make payments for browser-based digital goods and services such as games and dating subscriptions bought on their mobile devices.

However, consumers will not be able to use BilltoMobile for in-app purchases since this is prohibited by carriers and app stores such as the Apple iTunes App Store.

The mobile billing space is dotted with several players including Boku and Zong in the United States. And while the market is evolving, it is clear that there are issues over rates, payment process flows, reporting, refunds and accessible channels.

European disunion
The carrier billing situation is Europe is not without confusion, either. The market is fragmented with options such as WAP billing, DSL and mobile billing via PSMS.

For BilltoMobile, it made no sense to reinvent the wheel as it fuels its global aspirations.

“To grow organically in Europe is time-consuming and not compelling from a business standpoint,” Mr. Greenwell said.

“In order to serve our merchants, we’ll simply go with the best players that aren’t direct competitors here in the U.S.,” he said.