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EDITOR’S BLOG 161117 Charge to mobile coming of age?

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News that Generation Z will abandon cash and plunge us all into using mobile to pay is great news. While the Daily Mail is frothing at the mouth about youngsters denying all the ‘olds’ the right to use good old fashion cash, this move to mobile payments has been a long time coming – and for me it can’t come too soon.

While the study by MoneySuperMarket revels in young people being digital natives and blah blah blah being the driving force behind this change, the survey accidentally uncovers a very real thing that is going to happen – and it won’t just be because of young people.

The imminent arrival of PSD2 in 2018 is going to usher in a whole new era of payments. For the telemedia sector it clearly means that carrier billing can be used for more than just the ringtones and wallpapers for which it is famed and can start to play a role in the wider payments landscape.

This is going to usher in a whole new way of looking at how we pay and will shake up the banking world as much as it could the digital world.

Of course, charge to mobile isn’t going to suddenly become the de facto payment method of choice, but it is going to start to have a chance at playing a role in some areas.

Ticketing and car parking are the obvious places to start and it is here that we are likely to see carrier billing come into its own. The fact that the payment tool can be used easily and quickly from the device and the ticket or whatever quasi-digital goods it is buying can be consumed on the phone is a very powerful argument. The fact that it is then a closed system – dripping with customer data – should be enough to attract some mainstream brands to the table.

The same applies to any digital goods. Carrier billing can be a really effective way of connecting consumers with brands and content and experiences – and all the while spuming data like a comet.

And this is where the telemedia industry needs to push. The only way to leverage PSD2 to make carrier billing the mainstream payment mechanic it needs to be is to big up its advantages. For too long it has been associated with ringtones and wallpaper and things of low value. Now we need to see it add value.

Outside of the UK it works. Witnes Bango rolling out carrier billing for Amazon and Amazon Prime in Japan, as well as seeing Egypt become yet another country to use carrier billing for Android apps store purchases.

With Africa becoming a hotbed of mobile activity, there opportunities outside the UK are immense. But to get it to truly realise its potential, it needs to be pushed in Europe and for things of value.

Alone it can make car parking a less stressful experience. In conjunction with other major mobile tech such as location and more it can make car parking a joy. It could also be the key to car shares and other crazy Generation Z ideas.

While youngsters are set to change the way we do things, us old people need to push the right technology, solutions and ideas at them to help it work.

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Editor and content creator for Telemedia – for 18 years and counting

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