VP Content and Licensing
Direct Carrier Billing (DCB) is set to become the payment of choice for those who do not own credit cards
My friends from the gaming industry have been asking me what I actually do these days after spending most of my career working for a mobile games publishing mogul building partnerships around top brands and licenses.
But when I reply (with my earnstest face on): ‘Now I work acquiring and partnering with the best content in the Direct Carrier Billing ecosystem, which represents a commercial value chain of suppliers that develop technical, network or payment services in order to enable premium content, services and apps that drive billable network traffic, minutes and messages”*… they often look at me strangely… and quickly change the subject, or walk away.
In order to stop losing friends, and show how I can help my buddies in my current position, let me explain how I see Direct Carrier Billing and what it can mean for the gaming industry.
Let’s start with this: Carrier billing allows any mobile user to pay only by charging purchases to their phone bill. It can work on phones, computers, tablets, and Smart TVs. The experience is very easy, allowing a much smoother checkout than all the other payment methods.
Why is this super relevant to the mobile gaming industry today?
Because today there are more mobile phones than credit cards. 80% of mobile owners around the world do not have a credit card. There are two main reasons for this: either the phone holder lives in a territory part of an emerging market with low credit card penetration, or they are simply too young. Most Europeans under 25 years of age don’t own a credit card. So there is a huge gap between smartphone usage and credit card ownership. Fact.
What if carrier billing could be the alternative for them to access great content thanks to an easy payment method? Indeed, DCB is as easy as it gets. You don’t need to sign in, create accounts or fill out forms. The conversion rate is much higher than the usual credit card process. And it’s safe.
Let’s visualise step by step how it works:
1. A user decides to make a purchase from a given Merchant – your game for example
2. Several payment options will appear, among which “Pay with my phone Bill”
3. Choosing the ‘Pay with my phone bill’ option, they will be asked to enter their phone number
4. A Pin code will be sent to them to verify the transaction
5. And voilà! The money is deducted from their phone bill balance
Direct Carrier Billing is convenient for Games since you can fit in different payment types, such as microtransactions, recurring payments, and bundles, which makes it perfect for casual spending. Indeed in the gaming industry, DCB could serve not merely as another payment option, but as a powerful acquisition tool. If a player can spend money in a few seconds after visiting a website or downloading the app, the more likely they will stay and spend some more. Therefore, carrier billing can serve as an onboarding mechanism, allowing players to engage in gaming without setting up an account and registering a credit card. Players who don’t want to share sensitive information, like bank details, or don’t have a bank account, now can participate in gaming.
We can find a practical example in Asia, where carrier billing has exploded thanks to the Golden Age of eSports and the diminishing popularity of the credit cards. Many users are placing bets on their favourite eTeam right in the middle of the match, using mobile phones. Another innovative way to DCB in gaming is starting to be seen around cryptocurrency…
According to Juniper Research, the value of digital content transactions paid for by carrier billing is expected to reach USD 47 billion by 2020, more than 4 times the amount than in 2015. According to the same source, digital content annual spend via DCB was only at 10,6%. in 2017, and in 2022, it is expected to reach 20,4%.
The clock is ticking. Would you like to know more? Please reach out to me [email protected]