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Boku, BlueVia deal brings in-app purchasing to 295M Telefonica subscribers

August 30, 2011

Telefonica's app development platform enables in-app purchasing

BlueVia is partnering with micropayment platform Boku to let developers incorporate in-application payments.

The deal lets BlueVia developers integrate Boku’s mobile payments technology into their apps quickly and easily. As a result of the new partnership, app developers for BlueVia will be able to bill customers and reach consumers that do not currently have access to credit cards or other payment capabilities.

BlueVia is the developer platform for Spanish carrier Telefonica, which reaches 295 million subscribers in Europe and Latin America.

Telefonica gives each company that integrates the new BlueVia features into their apps a share of the sales generated from SMS and MMS.

In-app purchasing grows
With in-app purchasing continuing to grow; there is a strong incentive for developers to build purchasing mechanisms into their applications, according to BlueVia.

For example, recent research from app store research firm Diction, only 4 percent of apps in the Apple App Store support in-app payments yet they account for 72 percent of revenue.

The mobile app market continues to grow as well. Research from IDC forecasts that the mobile app market will exceed $35 billion by 2014.

Upon integrating Boku, the agreement with BlueVia allows in-app purchasing with no need for developers to collect credit cards, financial information, user login or registration through a third-party Web site.

The goal is to increase conversion rates to merchants while providing a seamless and secure purchase experience.

Starting now, developers can go to the BlueVia Wweb site and access the Payment API.

Last week, Boku, San Francisco, partnered with French carriers Bouygues Telecom and SFR in a deal that will reach 32 million French consumers (see story).

There has been a flurry of activity in the mobile payments space lately, including moves by Boku as well as Google Wallet, PayPal and Isis.

While many of these developments are helping to enable mobile payments and build awareness, it is still not clear which solutions are likely to drive the most usage, something that is key to success here.

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

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