O2 Germany signs with Boku for direct mobile billing

O2 Germany subscribers will be able to make online purchases valued between €0.09 and €30 by having the amount charged directly to their mobile phone account thanks to a deal the operator signed with mobile payments service Boku.

The new O2 Germany service will be enabled by integrating the payment platform developed by Boku directly into the operator's billing system. This should offer O2 Germany's customers a quicker and simpler method to make online payment compared with existing credit card services.

According to O2 Germany and Boku, the online purchase is made by the subscriber entering their mobile phone number at checkout, with the sale being verified via text message. A major benefit of the Boku service is that it allows physical goods to be purchased. This has caused problems in the past with operator billing systems charging the seller up to 30 per cent in fees, compared with 3 per cent for a credit card transaction.

Boku claims it has persuaded operators to accept much lower fees, and also overcomes another issue by allows pricing granularity across the €0.09 to €30 range. The O2 Germany service also supports in-app billing, web billing, and full financial transaction and refund support.

Commenting on the new service, Michiel van Eldik, O2 Germany's managing director for wholesale and partner management, said in a statement: "Understanding customer needs and merchant requirements in regards to our payment products is essential for continuing our success story in the mobile payment area. Boku's mobile payments platform has the right blend of technology and finance-grade infrastructure to mesh well with O2 customer needs."

Speaking to Venture Beat, Ron Hirson, vice president of product and marketing at Boku, said, "This is like an inflection point in our industry."

For more:
- see this release
- see this Finextra article
- see this Venture Beat article

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