The world of online digital purchases is less likely to involve the use of debit and credit cards as more companies welcome the use of carrier billing. Most recently, Google Play and Boku entered agreements with major U.S. telecoms to simplify the process of buying digital goods.
Last week, Google Play (formerly known as the Android Market) partnered with T-Mobile to offer carrier billing.
“In the U.S., T-Mobile customers can now purchase apps, music, movies and books by charging them directly to their mobile bill,” the tech giant said in a Google Plus post.
AT&T and Sprint joins that list of mobile carriers that offer direct billing but the telecoms have limited customers to the type of digital content available through this payment method. Sprint will be expanding options soon, Google said.
Also, Boku announced a partnership with Sprint to offer carrier billing. “Mobile commerce is one of the fastest growing segments in the wireless industry,” said Fared Adib, vice president of product at Sprint, in prepared remarks.
With Sprint, Boku now has carrier-billing partnerships with all four major U.S. mobile carriers — with AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon.
Boku offer carrier billing for many web-based games and social media networks including Electronic Arts, Facebook, Playfish and Sony Online Entertainment.
In a December 2011 survey by Javelin Strategy & Research, 58 percent of respondents chose wireless billing as the preferred method of alternative payments for digital purchases.
“If digital merchants simply offered consumers an alternative way to pay, such as mobile carrier-based payments, 79 percent of decisive consumers indicated they would spend more, driving significant new incremental revenue from subscriptions, transactions and purchases,” said Phil Blank, managing director at Javelin Strategy & Research, in a statement following the report.
Get ready for a rise in cases of bill shock.