Microsoft To Roll Out Direct Carrier Billing For Windows 10 Devices In Switzerlandby Fintechnews Switzerland December 28, 2015
Microsoft has launched in the US a new feature that allows Windows 10 users who are Sprint customers to add their phone number to the Windows Store and make purchases on all kinds of devices, including mobiles and desktops. Next stop will be Switzerland, according to reports from Forbes.
Microsoft, which announced plans to integrate direct carrier billing back in April 2015, has moved forward with its plans, launching earlier this month the new feature in the US thanks to a partnership with Boku.
Boku, a 155-employee firm based in San Francisco, is a leading direct carrier billing mobile payments company with over four billion consumers in more than 70 countries.
Tood Bix, general manager of the Windows Store, said in a statement that the move aims to push up developer monetization while providing a convenient way to make purchases in the Windows Store.
Direct carrier billing has been increasingly popular, notably because data have shown that purchases of apps and content such as music, videos and games, increase wherever the option is available, according to Boku.
“[This method] is consistent with the way in which we consume digital content today and proof that carrier billing is hardly just a payment method for on-mobile purchases,” Jon Prideaux, CEO of Boku, said. “Its convenience, security, and ubiquity make it a great general-purpose alternative payment in any setting.”
Carrier billing is particularly useful and effective in developing markets where mobile phone penetration is rapidly growing but where banking infrastructure can be limited.
How it works
Initially used by mobile service providers to charge customers for the extra services like wallpapers or ringtones, carrier billing lets consumers buy goods and services through their devices without the need of entering their credit card information. Instead, the amount is directly applied to their monthly carrier bill.
In the Windows Store, users simply need to designate payment through a carrier by using the payment instrument system. Once initialized, customers will be charged for their purchases directly by their mobile operator.
In addition to digital goods, consumers can also purchase products from the full range of Windows devices, including mobile phones, PCs, or laptops.
In addition to the Windows Store, Boku is also available for purchases in Google Pay, PlayStation Store, Facebook App Center, League of Legends and Spotify.
Microsoft Mobile Wallet
Following the lead of many other leading tech firms, Microsoft is exploring different payments solutions for its mobile devices.
Joe Belfiore, corporate VP of the Microsoft’s operating systems group, told the Verge in October:
“Windows is going to have a wallet concept. You’ve seen it on phones before. We’re going to continue to iterate it. We’re going to think about the range of payment scenarios.”
Alongside direct carrier billing, the firm is also providing users with Wallet, an app that allows users to manage their credit, debit, membership cards and coupons, as well as purchase apps and games in the Windows Phone Store.
Image credit: Microsoft, Wikipedia.