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    How does Direct Carrier Billing work?

    How does Direct Carrier Billing work? You may have heard the terminology, but are not quite sure how it all works this is the place for you…  here is a brief overview of what carrier billing is and, more importantly, how it works.

    Direct carrier billing defined

    The industry definition of Direct Carrier Billing (DCB) is “A remote payment method allowing users to pay for online and quasi physical goods – such as tickets for travel – products, support, services and content with their mobile devices (mobile phones, tablets and Smart TVs)”.

    This pure telcommunications payment method lets players or consumers use a ‘pay by mobile’ option on their phone, handset, or tablet to directly charge the transaction amount to their monthly bill.

    From a consumer point of view DCB is extremely straightforward and can be broken down into this simple flow:


    A DCB example from gaming

    There are five steps to the process using igaming as an example:

    • STEP 1: The user decides to deposit money into a gaming account with an online or mobile gambling operator, to buy a lottery ticket or to be able to place bets. On the gaming site they see that one of the payment options of ‘Pay by phone’.
    • STEP 2: The user selects ‘Pay by phone; to pay using DCB. The payment order is then transmitted by the gaming operator’s carrier billing provider to the player’s contracted mobile network operator (MNO) – with whom the user has his/her mobile phone number and SIM card registered. This can be a pre-paid or postpaid account, so long as there is enough credit.
    • STEP 3: The MNO then verifies the user in its database and accepts payment. The payment amount is then added to the monthly mobile phone bill issued by the MNO to their user / customer (if they are a contract-based) or deducted from their balance if they are a payas-you-go customer.
    • STEP 4: The mobile phone company (MNO) confirms to the DCB provider that the user has the funds to pay for the gambling deposit. NB with no personal data going to the payment provider.
    • STEP 5: The total amount of transactions made by users of a given mobile network operator within a specified period of time is transferred by the mobile network operator in question to the merchant, in this case the gambling operator to credit an account, pay for a bed, or buy a lottery ticket.


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