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BilltoMobile, Boku team up to expand mobile payments services

February 1, 2011

The Premier Football app tapped Boku for mobile payments

Boku is offering its merchants and customers the features of BilltoMobile’s Direct Mobile Billing payment service, which is directly connected into the Verizon Wireless billing system.

Boku will be processing payment transactions for its merchants – including Facebook – through the BilltoMobile payment service on Verizon. Boku’s mobile payments platform is live in 65 countries worldwide, with direct billing connections to carriers such as AT&T in the United States, Vodafone U.K. and Globe in the Philippines. 

“This is a mutually beneficial relationship, as it enables Boku’s merchants to take advantage of the direct connection to Verizon Wireless that BilltoMobile has established through its Direct Mobile Billing, or DMB, service,” said Jim Greenwell, CEO of BilltoMobile, San Jose.

“Processing payments via DMB enables merchants to enjoy lower rates, increased security, dynamic pricing and lower refund rates as compared with processing payments via premium SMS,” he said.
Boku lets its merchants and more than 2 billion consumers transact across 230 carriers.

BilltoMobile and its strategic investor Danal Co. Ltd. specialize in processing ecommerce mobile payments and claim to have processed more than $4 billion in mobile billing transactions.

For context, BilltoMobile’s strategic investor and majority shareholder, Danal Co. Ltd. has integrated DMB with 14 mobile carriers in Korea, Taiwan and China since the company launched in Korea in 2000.

Danal now leads the ecommerce mobile payment segment globally, having processed $4 billion in ecommerce mobile payments with its 10,000-plus online merchant partners.

Carrier integration
Verizon Wireless subscribers can now make mobile payments for various digital goods, content and services via the partners’ joint platform.

Boku and BilltoMobile claim to charge merchant fees that are lower than traditional premium SMS rates. 

All of Boku’s merchants will now be able to benefit from the partnership, per BilltoMobile.

Mr. Greenwell claims that the PSMS model for processing mobile payments is hampered by issues such as higher fees for consumers and high refund rates. He also claims that merchants now can use BilltoMobile’s DMB model to get lower fees, increased security, dynamic pricing and lower refund rates.

Verizon subscribers will be able to buy almost anything that is currently offered by participating merchants that are approved by the carrier.

“This agreement expands customer payment options, as they can now use DMB to bill online purchases directly to their wireless bill with no surcharges or fees, thus giving them a convenient and simple way to pay for incremental services,” Mr. Greenwell said. “Overall, we feel that 2011 is going to be the tipping point for mobile payment adoption by consumers.

“According to a recent Nielsen report about paying for apps or online purchases, 34 percent said they would like to pay via their phone bill—80 percent of those said that was due to convenience, 40 percent said it was due to security,” he said.

“DMB enables customers to bill online purchase directly to their wireless bill with no surcharges or fees thus having credit card purchasing power parity and providing them with better security and a more attractive payment option moving forward.”

Final Take
Dan Butcher, Mobile Marketer and Mobile Commerce Daily

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Dan Butcher is associate editor on Mobile Commerce Daily and Mobile Marketer. Reach him at

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