Light Reading

Bango's Influence Just Got Bigger

Ray Le Maistre
LR Mobile News Analysis
Ray Le Maistre, Editor-in-chief

Get used to hearing about Bango because its name is going to be cropping up more and more in 2013. The payments mediation platform specialist, which operates out of Cambridge, U.K., and New York, has been striking a number of key agreements that enable "carrier billing," also known as "direct-to-bill," whereby payments for goods and services are added to a person's mobile bill. Now it has announced another, with Telefónica Digital. (See Bango, Telefónica Team on Mobile Payments.) The two companies have signed an agreement to develop direct-to-bill capabilities for mobile apps stores using Bango's platform and a payment API (application programming interface) developed by Telefónica Digital's BlueVia team, which has been focused on mobile payment capabilities with various partners in recent months. (See Telefónica: In APIs We Trust.) The partners state they are aiming to "accelerate the availability of a standardised and open payment platform for all app stores and content providers and to dramatically improve the customer experience. The platform will be available to all app stores, supporting operator-billing and other payment methods through a single, common platform." The partnership with Telefónica Digital is the latest in an impressive list of relationships that are likely to result in the company's technology underpinning a growing volume of mobile-based transactions. (See Bango Brings Carrier Billing to Facebook and Bango Fits the Bill for Wireless Operators.) For more on Bango's recent developments and aspirations for this year, check out this very encouraging market update, which has just been published for its investors. While Bango is fast becoming a go-to name for such developments, the new relationship is a key one for Telefónica Digital and its main carrier partner, Telenor ASA, which are hoping to attract a number of key mobile operator names to collaborate on platforms and applications that will aid the development of the mobile digital marketplace. This tie-up with Bango looks like a good way to attract new partners. It's also another sign that carrier billing/direct-to-bill is becoming increasingly important for mobile service providers as a way to drive additional revenues and tighten the bond with their subscribers. (See MACH Launches Direct Operator Billing in UK and Skype's Big Billing Break.) — Ray Le Maistre, International Managing Editor, Light Reading

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