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As our research into carrier billing published this week by UK regulator Phone-paid Services Authority reveals, merchants are starting to adopt carrier billing for a broader array of content and services than has previously been seen.

Until recently in the UK, for example, carrier billing had been limited to old skool services like adult video subscriptions and online competitions — services more linked with high complaint levels than the adoption of an alternative payment mechanism. Or, it has been used by Google Play store to buy apps or to make in-app purchases on freemium apps. To date, the most high-profile adopter of carrier billing had been Spotify.

In the UK over the last 18 months, new brands and merchants have added carrier billing as a payment channel. Content and services using carrier billing include books and magazine subscriptions, niche TV and video services, health and fitness apps. Ticketing services are in the process of being launched, as they have in market throughout Europe.

But no one will argue that carrier billing is where it should be. It provides a one-click payment option that is convenient and sought after be consumers. But it has been a tough sell globally.

Outside of Japan and South Korea, where carrier billing is being used for billions of dollars worth of transactions each year, very little has happened until recently.

2018 will be a transitional year for carrier billing.

For merchants and L1s long immersed in the premium rate marketplace, carrier billing can either extend existing services or presents an opportunity to explore new opportunities. It is the latter which is now happening, and is driving the growth in spend via carrier billing.

In association with Telemedia Online, Mobilesquared has been researching the global premium rate and carrier billing opportunity and will reveal our research and market projections for premium rate and carrier billing at World Telemedia 2018 in Spain on October 9th.

It’s not too late to get involved. If you would like to be part of the research please contact or and quote GLOBAL RESEARCH. If you have a view or opinion, we want to hear from you.

For more information on World Telemedia 2018, please visit Please use code: WT445MS2 to get an exclusive delegate pass discount for Mobilesquared readers.

Author Jo Hall

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