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Boku Teams with UK Networks for Carrier Billing Solution

Tim Maytom

boku_logo_webready_stackedMobile payments firm Boku has partnered with UK networks EE, O2 and Vodafone to enable carrier billing to be used to purchase physical items.

The initiative is set to reinvent how direct carrier billing businesses operate across Europe. Previously, the EU's Payment Services Directive limited carrier billing to digital purchases only, and all other services required special exemptions.

By combining eMoney with the convenience of charging purchases to phone bills, Boku aims to create a fully regulated payment product that enables all goods and services to be charged through carrier billing, and provide a clear regulatory framework that offers protection for both consumers and merchants.

Although the initial partnership is with O2, Vodafone and EE, Boku plans to extend the solution to other network operators and partners.

"Up to now buying stuff and charging it to your phone bill has been restricted, limited to digital goods and operating in a regulatory framework designed years ago to handle ringtone downloads," said Jon Prideaux, CEO of Boku. "We are not entering a new era for carrier billing. Boku has re-invented carrier billing as a mainstream payment method.

"As an authorised eMoney issuer, regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority, Boku enables consumers to make purchases quickly and simply. Merchants who allow their customers to charge things to the phone bill sell more. Mobile Network Operators can offer an improved experience to their subscribers, with Boku bearing responsibility for the entire compliance envelope."