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Carrier billing brings new opportunities to Corethree’s mobile ticketing apps

The carrier billing strategy is, which is being enabled via a partnership with Boku, expands the potential use of mobile ticketing for transportation. The partnership also points to how carrier billing can be another alternative besides near-field communications and QR codes for real-world purchasing via a smartphone.

While carrier billing works well in many different environments (e.g. Desktop computers, game consoles, etc.), it offers an ideal solution on mobile where speed of checkout is critical,” said Ray Ramillosa, vice president of Boku.

“With carrier billing, the consumer only has to enter his/her phone number to complete the checkout process,” he said. “In many cases, the consumer’s phone number can automatically be detected, which speeds the checkout process even further.

“This can be done while still ensuring that the payment is very safe and secure, particularly because none of the consumer’s sensitive debit or credit card information has to be shared.  As a result of these benefits, customers using Corethree’s mobile ticketing solutions will be able to convert more users, drive higher conversion, and generate more first time app use with carrier billing.”

On the bus
Consumers who have downloaded a mobile ticketing application built by Corethree will be able to charge their bus tickets to their mobile phone bill.

Corethree has partnerships with a number of transport companies, including First UK Bus, Go Ahead, the Transdev transport group, Rotala, Lothian Buses and Cardiff City Transport Service.

Bus riders simply select “Mobile” as their payment method of choice. The charge appears on the consumer’s bill or is deducted from their prepaid balance using Boku’s e-Money solution.

The initial implementation will focus on adding Boku’s mobile payment method to Corethree’s turnkey mobile solution, MoBus.

The two companies will also work together on a number of solutions for clients in the m-ticketing area and look for opportunities to expand the technology into other areas.

In Europe, and more specifically, in parts of Scandinavia, text-to-pay based carrier billing solutions for ticketing have been used for some time,” said Mr. Ramillosa.

“As smartphone penetration grows and as consumers continue to move their ticket purchases to mobile, we expect that in-app carrier billing solutions for ticketing will become much more common over time,” he said.

Mobile ticketing
The Boku partnership is just one of the ways that Corethree is trying to broaden the reach of its mobile ticketing application. Last year, the company teamed up with Barclay’s Pingit to bring the financial institution’s mobile checkout to public transportation customers in Britain (see story).

Mobile ticketing is latest example of how carrier billing is beginning to reach into new areas.

Last month, British publisher IPC Media, whose magazine titles include Marie Claire and InStyle, selected Boku to enable sign ups for print magazine subscriptions by simply texting a keyword to a short number (see story).

“Most NFC and bar code based solutions are linked to credit and debit cards,” Mr. Ramillosa said. “For consumers, that prefer the ease (simple to complete payment) – accessibility (anyone with a mobile phone can use it – no credit card, debit card, bank card required), and security of carrier billing (no sensitive card details to share – only your phone number), it offers a great alternative to credit and debit cards.”

Final Take
Chantal Tode is senior editor on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York