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At 47%, Charge to Mobile has the largest share of potential users for m-payments in UK, research finds

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New research from ImpulsePay reveals that Charge to Mobile reaches one and a half times as many consumers as credit cards and over four times as many as PayPal.

The research proves that with over 85 million active mobile subscriptions in the UK alone, Charge to Mobile – known globally as Direct Carrier Billing – has the largest share of users of any mobile payment option in the UK.

Online merchants have the potential to reach 93% of all adults in the UK by including a Charge to Mobile option at checkout – an additional 47% when compared to a stand-alone credit card option at checkout, or an additional 325% more than PayPal.

The figures are compared to the 58 million credit cards that were in circulation in the UK in early 2014, of which only 66% were active, and the number of UK registered PayPal accounts, of which there are 20 million.

The comparison also takes into account similar smartphone apps that allow users to pay for goods direct from their mobiles such as Barclays’ Pingit, which in 2014 had been downloaded just 2.5 million times (equivalent to only 3% of active mobile subscriptions).

Charge to Mobile is the term for the technology that allows a customer to make a purchase via their phone, in a quick transaction without entering their credit card data. The cost is then charged to the customers’ mobile phone account, or taken from the available credit if they are on a pay as you go tariff.

“Digital merchants are looking for a payment method that’s quick and universal,” explains Tim Green, editor of payments site Mobile Money Revolution. “They’re finding that many of their customers either don’t have bank cards or just drop out at checkout because the process is so awful. Charge to Mobile has immense potential to solve these problems.”

Fees for mobile payments are now comparable to the fees charged for credit card or PayPal transactions and have moved a long way from the 30% transaction fee charged by app stores.
“The goal for Charge to Mobile has always been to reduce the rates enough in order to compete head to head with credit cards as a payment method,” adds Paul Paterson, Commercial Director of ImpulsePay. “A great deal of work has been done by the Charge to Mobile providers and the network operators, and as a result new transaction fees of only 9.9% were introduced last year, alongside simpler payment flows.”

It has been estimated that by 2017, global financial transactions through mobile payments will reach £1 trillion, with revenues billed to direct carrier billing expected to grow to £3.9 billion by 2017.

By allowing customers to pay for goods using their mobile phone number, many new potential customers are available for merchants, including under 18s or the hundreds of thousands of households that lack a bank account, who are otherwise excluded from making purchases via a mobile phone.

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