Telefónica inks global m-payments deal with Bango

Mobile payments service provider Bango will develop a direct-to-bill mobile payment platform with Telefónica. The global framework deal will see Bango's platform combined with Telefónica's BlueVia payment APIs following successful trials of direct-to-bill in the Spanish operator's businesses.

Bango, which already has direct billing m-payment partnerships with Facebook, Amazon, Research In Motion's BlackBerry and others, will now enable app developers working with Telefónica to integrate a single API into their software and websites. This will permit two-click operator payments across app stores in Bango's network.

Telefónica, which also works with m-payment specialist Boku, told TechCrunch that the partnership with Bango was not exclusive. Jose Valles, the head of BlueVia at Telefónica Digital, said that working with one m-payment specialist does not negate its work with the other.

"This is about enhancing the ecosystem. Not all companies work with Bango and not all companies work with Boku, so we will be collaborating with both of them," Valles told TechCrunch.

Of note, the Bango deal provides Telefónica with access to the multiple app store agreements Bango has already signed. "It gives us a focus on app stores and frictionless, low-click payments," Matt Dicks, head of marketing for BlueVia, told TechCrunch. "That's not what telcos do very well."

Bango maintains that the deployment of operator billing platforms in countries with high credit card penetration can boost the sale of digital products by up to 400 per cent, according to Total Telecom.

Bango CEO Ray Anderson said in a statement that it shared a strategic vision with Telefónica to widen access to paid content by standardising and simplifying operator-billed mobile payments.

"BlueVia is a valuable and bold initiative to establish a unified set of billing APIs. We will standardise on BlueVia to connect with Telefónica's 314 million subscribers around the world and look forward to welcoming other operators who join this initiative, as Telenor has done," Anderson said.

For more:
- see this Bango release
- see this TechCrunch article
- see this Total Telecom article

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