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.
Today, Boku partner Xsolla published a brief case study outlining the benefits that Boku carrier billing brings to their network of video game developers and publishers. Based on Xsolla data from the last year, turnover with Boku grew 10x and the company is seeing direct carrier billing becoming a big part of their game monetisation market.
Boku is the leading direct carrier billing mobile payments company integrated with hundreds of mobile operators all over the world. Our bank-grade payments technology allows consumers to charge purchases to their mobile phone bill via global merchant partners including Facebook, Sony, Spotify, Microsoft, Riot Games, and many more.
Xsolla provides video game developers and publishers with payment and billing services for doing business on a global scale. Our advanced monetization solutions make it easy to accept in-game payments worldwide via connection to hi-tech payment platforms.
Today, Boku announced a significant expansion of our relationship with Spotify into three new Southeast Asian markets and working with four carrier partners: Starhub, CHT Global, FarEastone, and Digi International.
Spotify was also one of our first merchant partners to adopt our Phone on File technology, allowing for standing authorization of mobile accounts as a subscriber’s preferred payment mechanism.
Spotify is one of Boku’s largest merchant partners, with more than 75 million accounts worldwide, 20 million paid subscribers and growing. This new expansion will enable pre and post paid purchases of Spotify Premium accounts for millions of new listeners across Singapore, Taiwan, and Malaysia.
If you are a carrier looking to bring Spotify carrier billing to your subscribers, feel free to reach out at [email protected]
As some of you may have seen, this morning DaoPay announced its acquisition of our landline-based “pay by call” service (formerly mopay Call – created by mopay, acquired by Boku in 2014). This agreement allows Boku to transition our landline offering to a trusted partner while we continue to expand our industry-leading mobile carrier billing service.
By working with DaoPay, we have ensured that our merchants’ technical migration is a simple, frictionless reconfiguration. The DaoPay API also brings with it a number of advantages above and beyond our current landline offering including:
Fully flexible tariffs in most countries
Advanced reporting and analysis
Patented dial-through logic (no PIN announcement)
Online overview of past invoices and payment status
Consumer loyalty programme
To read the full announcement press release, go here. If you have any questions for Boku, please feel free to reach out to [email protected]