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 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.
Boku, a San Francisco direct carrier billing mobile payments company, has raised $13.75 million in new VC funding. Return backers include Khosla Ventures, Benchmark Capital, NEA, Index Ventures and DAG Ventures.
Boku announced today that has raised $13.75 million in a new round of venture capital as it seeks to expand the range of carrier billing services it offers.
Based in San Francisco and founded in 2009, Boku has now raised a total of $91 million. The latest round includes many of the same marquee investors who have backed the company previously, including Khosla Ventures, Benchmark, NEA, Index Ventures, and DAG Ventures.
Silicon Valley investors are betting that a service that allows consumers to add purchases to their phone bills, will occupy a place in the growing market for electronic payments.
Carrier billing startup Boku, which has raised a $13.75 million Series E, allows merchants to bill goods as an add-on charge to customers’ phone bills. It is chiefly used by digital-content services such as Spotify, Google Play, Sony Playstation and Microsoft Windows 10.
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.
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.
Boku, a global provider of carrier billing-based mobile payments, has announced four new partnerships to bring direct carrier billing to Google Play across three European markets.
These agreements include O2 and ePlus in Germany, KPN in the Netherlands, and Base in Belgium. In total, they will allow more than 75 million mobile subscribers to make purchases on Google Play using only their phone number.
As opposed to PayPal, where new users must be signed up one by one in order to use PayPal, these carrier agreements mean that 75 million mobile subscribers can now use their mobile device as a payment method as opposed to their credit card.
This morning, our CEO Jon Prideaux was asked to join Maria Bartiromo on her show “Opening Bell” to discuss recent innovations in the mobile payments space. Mr. Prideaux’s experience both as CEO of Boku as well as his time as EVP at Visa came into play during the interview, as the conversation ranged from Apple Pay to how the banks are faring in this new world of payments innovation. A brief rundown of the topics discussed appears below, along with the full 5 minute clip.
Apple Pay & the Apple Watch
Trust & security in mobile technology and mobile payments
Our mission at Boku is to make the mobile number the world’s most convenient and accessible way to pay, full stop. In order to deliver on that mission, we must be constantly innovating to bring carrier billing technology in line with the long-held advantages of traditional payment options. Today, we announced the release of one such innovation – “Phone-on-File”, the carrier billing world’s first cross-platform answer to the “card on file” technology that has allowed companies like Amazon and Apple amass hundreds of millions of stored credit cards and process billions in purchases. Phone-on-File brings two new ways for merchants to offer carrier billing to their customers: cross-platform Express Checkout, and subscription-based services.
For one-time purchases, Phone-on File is designed to give merchants who use carrier billing the same streamlined one-click checkout offered by services like Amazon, without the need for a credit card. The initial sign-up is completed through a one-time SMS authentication and all future purchases are completed in one click, bypassing a second authorization that is typically required for carrier billing transactions. Importantly, because the authorization is provided to the merchant, consumers can utilize the one-click checkout feature on any platform through which they purchase a merchant’s goods and/or services including desktop, mobile web, and mobile in-app. Boku has implemented Phone-on-File for one-time purchases with a select group of global merchants and the results have shown an average conversion uplift of 5% and a reduction in returning user billing failures by close to 50%.
For subscription purchases, Phone-on-File allows carrier billing to function like credit cards, whereby carrier billing can be accepted as a recurring payment option without the need for subsequent approvals during the subscription period. The technology gives merchants the ability to control the timing of the charge once the user has provided his/her standing authorization and to offer key subscription features such as free and discounted trial periods. It also allows carrier billing to be easily integrated into the merchant’s existing subscription engines.
The new Phone-on-File functionality is currently available in the UK, Germany, Italy and the United States with more markets to be made available in the coming months. If you would like to learn more, feel free to contact us at [email protected]