Seminar Highlights Mobile Payments Trends

A poll of delegates at a seminar organised by global mobile transaction hub, OpenMarket, and hosted by trade body the Association for Interactive Media & Entertainment (AIME), has  highlighted Direct-to-Mobile (D2M) in-app billing as one of the most significant emerging trends in mobile payments. 93 per cent of those surveyed believe that the freemium/in-app up-selling model will be the most successful app revenue model in 2011. Moreover, 85 per cent defined ease of use of the payment method as the most important factor requiring improvement in 2011, further emphasising the need for D2M billing services.

The event, ‘In-App Billing 2.0: Taking the Application Billing Core out of Apple’ was a Knowledge & Networking Seminar which ran in December and was attended by more than 90 delegates from mobile content and application companies, brands, broadcasters and agencies, including BSkyB, ITV, MTV, Flirtomatic, Fox Mobile and Sponge.

“With the arrival of in-app billing in the mobile payments market, 2011 will be regarded as the year when Direct to Mobile (D2M) billing provides consumers with the simplest, safest and most convenient way of paying for both app purchases and in-app purchases for their smartphones,” says Alex Moir, General Manager, OpenMarket Europe. “As the application marketplace becomes more competitive, developers and publishers will need to monetise the app in a new way. Making the application free and generating revenue as the application is used through direct-to-mobile in-app billing is a logical step in this direction.”

Traditional Direct to Bill services supported by mobile operators allow a trusted partner or developer service to securely connect to the carrier infrastructure in order to place a charge through the operator’s billing system. In-app access changes this model by allowing apps on the mobile handset to connect directly, removing the requirement for third party access points. This poses additional authentication and security concerns to validate both the subscriber and developer in each charge. Mobile transaction hubs like OpenMarket have developed solutions which meet this challenge. OpenMarket’s solutions are currently being tested in trials with Virgin Media and Nokia.