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Mobile First launches payment services for online games, social networks

February 10, 2010

Paying via mobile

Paying via mobile

In another sign of mobile payments taking off, Mobile First Inc. has announced its new payment processing services for developers and providers of online games, social networking applications and virtual currency platforms.

Mobile First’s service, Mobile Payment, lets online entertainment merchants provide a convenient way for consumers worldwide to pay for services. Consumers can pay for goods and services via SMS.

“We know from our experience with SMS billing for the past seven years that there are some notable advantages to both processing payments via mobile and to doing so with Mobile First: Up to 10 times better conversion rates than alternative payment methods, allow merchants simple and secure access to a global marketplace, leading industry payouts, and unrivaled tech and customer support,” said Kevin Spector, CEO of Mobile First, Foster City, CA.

Mobile First is a worldwide provider of mobile billing services. It has processed more than $250 million in mobile payments since 2003.

Cashing in on SMS
The company said its new service is a secure and reliable way to let consumers of online merchants shop for multitude of online products and services and complete their purchase by entering their mobile phone numbers.

Mobile First said its mobile payments are built primarily for consumers who use virtual currency platforms, massively multiplayer online role-playing games and independent merchants of social games and applications. 

“Anyone with premium text-messaging capabilities will be able to more quickly and easily pay for their digital goods or virtual currency and return to their game or application,” Mr. Spector said.

Verification is achieved using a security code sent to the consumer’s mobile phone, reducing the risk of fraud.

Payments are processed immediately and consumers are credited for their digital purchases.

Mobile First said its new payment service eliminates the barriers that come with credit card payments by providing a higher converting alternative payment mechanism.

The company said its platform consistently achieves conversion rates 10 times than those of traditional credit card payment options.

Continued growth
Mobile Payment features customer support, localized language translation, secure transaction processing and real-time reporting.

To start using Mobile Payment from Mobile First, merchants have to register by visiting

Once they receive their login credentials and register their products, Mobile First sends the HTML code and an API to activate the Mobile Payment service on the merchant’s Web site.

Mr. Spector said Mobile First expects to see continued growth in international demand for social games and an increasing willingness to pay to play these games this year. 

“While the vast majority of users of digital media are doing so for free, the growing application usage, the maturing of new mobile markets and the increased comfort level of mobile as a transactional payment method for virtual goods is cause for optimism,” Mr. Spector said.

“Consumers are embracing this payment method as we’re seeing as many as 20 percent of the users who are willing to pay are doing so through mobile payment,” he said. “This uniquely positions providers like Mobile First who have the experience, reach and economics to support this growing market.”

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Chirs Harnick is editorial assistant on Mobile Commerce Daily and Mobile Marketer. Reach him at

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