Spareroom.co.uk offers one-click mobile purchasing
British apartment and house-share Web site Spareroom.co.uk has added a new mobile purchasing option for consumers via its mobile Web site.
Using ImpulsePay’s mobile purchasing service, consumers can pay for access to “Early Bird” ads on Spareroom.co.uk and get a head start on finding their next room. In addition, those looking to advertise an available room can pay to make their ad bold so that it stands out among the other ads.
“We launched a mobile version of our Web site last year, and we’ve seen huge growth of traffic,” said Rupert Hunt, founder and managing director of Spareroom.co.uk, London. “We stripped it down so it’s a streamlined process, but what never worked quite so well was the mobile purchasing aspect via PayPal.
“It was in the context of games where I first came across the mobile payments concept,” he said. “It is incredibly quick and it seemed like the ideal solution for our mobile site, and so we decided to partner with ImpulsePay.”
Spareroom.co.uk launched in 2004 as a national version of intoLondon.com, the first flat-share site in London.
The SpareRoom network has grown to more than 1.5 million registered users.
Spareroom.co.uk claims to have more than 60 percent of Britain’s specialist flat-share market and it is free to both list your flat and to search, although paid-for services such as Early Bird and bold listings are also offer.
ImpulsePay is a mobile purchasing provider that lets people to pay for a wide variety of goods and services with the charges appearing on their mobile phone bill.
The company provides the mobile purchasing mechanism to online and mobile content owners and service providers.
ImpulsePay is backed by Interlinked, a mobile marketing company that has worked on Hillary Clinton’s U.S. Presidential campaign.
Carrier billing versus PayPal
Mobile is the second-most-ubiquitous payment method after cash, meaning ease of use for consumers and access to an increased audience for retailers, per ImpulsePay.
Thanks to ImpulsePay’s implementation of Payforit, it takes just one click for Spareroom.co.uk’s mobile users to purchase access to Early Bird ads on their mobile phone.
The cost, which is taken directly from the user’s mobile phone bill or available credit, is £3 (close to $4 USD) for 24-hour access or £10 (a little more than $13 USD) for 10-day access.
Mr. Hunt said that the ImpulsePay platform is a very simple and clear way for Spareroom.co.uk users to pay, and as it uses Payforit, anyone in Britain can use it.
Payforit is backed by all of Britain’s carriers and provides an alternative option to Premium SMS and credit card payments.
By introducing a mobile purchasing option, Spareroom.co.uk has provided more choices for its users and at the same time created more revenue opportunities, according to ImpulsePay.
Here is a screengrab of Spareroom.co.uk’s mobile site:
ImpulsePay’s mobile purchasing platform lets users buy from a mobile Web site to complete the whole transaction with a single-click.
Consumers that are using the service online need to complete a three-step process. This involves entering their mobile number online, receiving an SMS containing a PIN code and then entering that code online.
Spareroom.co.uk is also working on an iPhone application, and once that has launched the company will look at doing an Android application as well.
“Payforit enables one-click mobile payments, with no SMS and no filling in a form,” Mr. Hunt said. “It basically replaced PayPal on the mobile site, and we increased our revenue by over 50 percent—the transaction charges are higher, but we’ve seen an amazing increase in conversion rates.
“People don’t even have to enter their mobile number, they just click ‘pay now,’ and the cost appears on their phone bill,” he said. “There is no texting involved, so there is no friction whatsoever—it’s immediate.
“The transaction charges are as much as 50 percent with one [carrier] provider, and it averages out to 25 percent, which is quite high compared to credit cards, but you get the higher conversion rates, which leads to increased profits.”
Dan Butcher, associate editor, Mobile Commerce Daily