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Bango brings carrier billing to Google in Indonesia and Samsung in South Africa

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Bango continues its run of getting carrier billing into the mainstream with deals with Google Play in Indonesia and Samsung and South Africa’s Telekom in South Africa.

Working with Indosat in Indonesia, Bango’s payments platform now allows Google Play customers on the Indosat network to purchase games, music, apps and other digital content, without the use of premium SMS messages or the limitations of credit cards. Instead, users enjoy frictionless direct carrier billing, charging the cost to their phone bill, without the need to register personal details.

Today’s launch will impact a huge population of Indonesian consumers. Indosat is a leading MNO in Indonesia, where the smartphone market is growing rapidly, having seen growth of 154% in the 12 months to July 2014. With growth of 156% during the same period, Android is Indonesia’s most popular mobile OS. Even with such growth, smartphone ownership has still only reached 26%, suggesting that smartphone penetration will continue to rise in the coming years (all analysis from Opera Software, 2014).

This activation is the latest development in an established strategic partnership between Bango and Indosat. Indosat was integrated into the Bango Payments Platform in 2012, and initially activated carrier billing for users of BlackBerry World and then Microsoft’s Windows Phone Store. The Bango Payments Platform manages the complexities of launching mobile commerce in a fast-developing market such as Indonesia, including compliance with local tax and regulatory requirements, as well as support for local currency (Rupiah). The result is an unrivalled speed to market and revenue.

Technical implementation of direct carrier billing for Indosat users was achieved by simply activating the existing integration between the Bango Platform and Google. This speed is an important benefit of the Bango platform approach, and explains why many of the world’s largest MNOs choose Bango to deliver app store carrier billing.

Indosat President Director & CEO, Alexander Rusli said: “Indosat Carrier Billing with Google Play Store is the first of its kind in Indonesia, so we hope this service gives the convenience to Indosat customers to purchase applications, content, games and books through their mobile device without the need of using credit or debit cards. This service offering is also our commitment to the people of Indonesia that Indosat will always create new and innovative services to stay ahead of competition. This initiative is the part of Indosat efforts to become the carrier of choice for smart device users.”

In South Africa, Bango, Telkom and Samsung have rolled out an integrated carrier billing service for Samsung smartphone and tablet customers. The service is made possible through Telkom’s Event Billing service and will enable Telkom customers to purchase applications from Samsung’s GALAXY Apps store and charge it directly to their mobile phone bill or airtime, using their Samsung devices.

Customers can also make in-app purchases, such as additional content or new levels for a gaming app, without interruption to the app experience. This “frictionless” payment experience is emerging as the preferred model for payment in app stores, enabling more consumers to access paid content, without the need for credit/debit cards or to register personal details.

A double opt-in process is included so that customers are aware that they are purchasing an app or a game and are not surprised when their account is billed for the purchase. Details of each transaction will be itemised on customers’ invoices. Customers can also call Telkom customer care to further validate purchases.

“We are thrilled to be the first to introduce Direct Carrier Billing for Samsung in South Africa,” said Enzo Scarcella, Chief Marketing officer at Telkom. “Samsung customers are now able to buy apps and content with their airtime or by adding purchases to their account, giving them a richer and more enjoyable experience.”

Justin Hume, Director of Product Marketing, Integrated Mobility at Samsung Electronics South Africa, said: “Samsung is excited about this partnership as it further strengthens our commitment to deliver innovative solutions that accompany our mobile services. We continue to enhance how our consumers experience and engage with our services and the direct operator billing on GALAXY Apps will provide a hassle-free and simple buying experience.”

Telkom and Samsung have partnered with mobile payment leader Bango in order to launch the service. Bango CEO Ray Anderson said: “One-click Direct Carrier Billing is setting the standard for app store payment. Telkom’s consumers will now find it easier than ever to access the paid content that brings our smartphones to life.”

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