Today Boku has announced that carrier-billed subscriptions for music streaming service Spotify, which launched in Japan in September, is now available across the country’s three largest carriers: KDDI, Softbank and NTT Docomo.
With this partnership more than 158 million mobile subscribers can now use their mobile phone as a payment option for their Spotify Premium subscriptions. This marks the Japanese launch of Boku’s Phone-on-File technology, which allows merchants to manage renewal charges on a user’s mobile account in the same way as they do with cards.
Spotify gains the ability to utilize carrier billing as a powerful way to acquire new Japanese customers who find using their mobile phone number for purchases to be the easiest and most secure way to pay on any device, including PC and mobile web-based purchases. Once a free Spotify Premium trial has expired, the subscription fee will automatically appear on the user’s mobile phone bill.
Today Boku is announcing the expansion of carrier billing for Spotify music lovers in Switzerland via Swisscom. This partnership will help 6.5 Million Swisscom Subscribers to access carrier billing as a payment option for Spotify Premium, creating recurring payments quickly and easily using only their mobile number.
Today Boku is announcing an expanded agreement with Microsoft Corp. to bring Boku® direct carrier billing as a payment option to all Windows 10 devices on Beeline in Russia and Orange in Poland. As part of the expanded integration with Boku, Windows 10 customers on these carriers will be able to use their mobile phone number to save their mobile account as their preferred payment method when making any purchase in the Windows Store.
This is the first time carrier billing will be offered as a payment option for the Windows Store in these countries and will be available across a full range of devices including Window Phone, Surface Tablet and any PC or laptop running Windows 10.
Windows 10 is seeing steady growth globally, having already been installed on more than 400 million devices. Beeline Russia has over 60 Million mobile subscribers, and Orange Poland has over 16 Million mobile subscribers.
Today Boku is announcing a new office in Singapore to further expand their footprint in Asia, one of the fastest growing regions for carrier billing. Max Lehmann, Boku VP of Business Development Asia, will head up the office which will be responsible for all of Boku’s business operations in the Asia Pacific region. This is Boku’s fifth office in Asia, which already included offices in Tokyo, Taipei City, Beijing and Mumbai. The new Singapore office provides a strategic advantage for Boku, as it’s centrally located and long considered the business hub for all Asian Pacific markets.
Global carrier billing revenue is expected to reach $25 billion by 2020, with Asia being the most significant driver, contributing to over 50% of overall revenue (Ovum, 2015). Boku has recently seen tremendous growth in emerging markets in Asia, as well as in developed Asian markets like Japan, Taiwan and Singapore. This, coupled with many major app stores and subscription services all recently adopting carrier billing as a mobile payment method and Boku’s partnerships with premier Asian carriers means continued business opportunities in these markets for the foreseeable future.
If merchants would like to hear more details, please reach out to us at [email protected].
Today Boku is pleased to announce that it has secured $13.75 million in further venture funding to expand carrier billing across numerous carrier connections in developed and emerging markets around the globe.
Several of Boku’s existing venture investors from Silicon Valley have followed on with their investments, including Khosla Ventures, Benchmark Capital, NEA, Index Ventures and DAG Ventures, in addition to a other new and existing investors in the UK, US and Asia. This new portion of venture funding, which was oversubscribed from Boku’s initial financing plans, brings the total amount Boku has raised to $91 million since its founding in 2009.
The funding will allow Boku to build and activate new waves of carrier connections across the globe, providing millions of new cell phone subscribers to fuel Boku’s growth. Historically carrier billing was viewed as the preferred payment method for consumers in emerging markets; those with little or no access to credit cards or bankcards to participate in ecommerce. Recently, Boku has seen explosive growth in developed markets through partnerships with premier merchants and carriers making carrier billing the preferred alternative payment option for both developed and emerging economies.
Today Boku is announcing an expansion of their partnership with Google and Bite to bring carrier billing as a payment option for all purchases made on Google Play. Eligible purchases include: apps, in app purchases, games, music, movies and books. Bite is Lithuania’s 3rd largest cell phone carrier, and Lithuania’s low card penetration make it a perfect candidate for Boku and Google to team up and provide carrier billing as a payment option in Google Play.
Today Boku is announcing the expansion of carrier billing for streaming music lovers with key carrier partnerships in Germany. Now every major carrier in Germany is allowing their subscribers to gain access to Spotify Premium and set up recurring payments using only their mobile number. With this deal, Spotify now offers customers in Germany a carrier billing option for digital their music purchases.
Today Boku is announcing the expansion of carrier billing for streaming music lovers with key carrier partnership in Ireland. Starting 1st July 2016, Boku’s new partnership with Three will enable the subscribers to gain access to one of Ireland’s most popular streaming music services: Deezer. In addition to having the option of making Deezer purchases using only their mobile phone number, Three customers in Ireland can subscribe for a free trial of Deezer Premium Plus.
This morning, Boku and Verteda announced a new partnership to bring carrier billing into every football fan’s favorite app: Qjacker. This new partnership will allow fans across the UK on any of the major carriers to charge food and beverages directly to their mobile account using only the Qjacker app – no need to wait in line, no need to enter a credit or bank card. Fans don’t even need to enter their phone number – just download Qjacker, place your order, select “Charge to mobile”, and skip the line to pick up food while it’s still hot and drinks while they are still cold.
This is the first time UK mobile subscribers can purchase real-world goods simply by storing their mobile phone number in the app and charging all purchases to their pre or post-paid mobile account. Leveraging the immediacy and low friction of mobile checkout to streamline the physical purchase process is the next great frontier in payments, and Verteda is leading the way with Qjacker.
Boku is the only carrier billing provider to secure an e-money license from the Financial Conduct Authority and develop a model that enables the company to provide carrier billing for the purchase of physical goods. The company’s license also applies to each country in the European Union as well countries in the European Economic Area, which could allow for future expansions of the kinds of services offered via Qjacker.
Earlier this month, Boku CEO Jon Prideaux was invited to speak at Europe’s largest FinTech event: Money 20/20 Europe in Copenhagen. With more than 3,000 in attendance, Jon joined leaders from some of the world’s largest companies to speak on the topics of building and disrupting the ways consumers and businesses manage, spend and borrow money.
The title of Jon’s session was “Disruptive payment infrastructures: Towards enhanced value and efficiencies” and it centered on two major paths for disruption of payments: sustaining innovations built on the existing rails; and innovations that leapfrog the standard payments infrastructure (the latter being Boku’s exact mandate). During the session, Jon and other leaders sought to answer the questions:
Are both paths sustainable? Or will one replace the other?
What are the advantages and disadvantages of relying on our existing payment networks, or of moving to new but disruptive mechanisms?
And who should decide: governments, consumers, or someone else?
In the clip below, Jon lays out the role of banks today in the payments value chain and how they have seen their portion of that chain get smaller and smaller over the past 20-30 years:
You can also check out a highlight reel of the entire event put together by the Money 20/20 team below:
All in all, a very memorable event and a great opportunity for Boku to continue educating the world on the value carrier billing brings to carriers, merchants, and consumers well beyond the digital space. We look forward to revisiting lovely Copenhagen and participating again next year.