Re: An analyst's view of the payment industry

Hi Ricardo,

> Just a comment on the "95% of mobile subscriptions are prepaid". What do
> you think is the issue with that?

no issue, just a fact. Usually people associate carrier billing with 
post-paid billing. See for instance wikipedia definition in
"Direct operator billing, also known as mobile content billing, WAP 
billing, and carrier billing, requires integration with the operator. It 
provides certain benefits:
the operators already have a billing relationship with the consumers, 
the payment will be added to their bill."
but technically I agree that charges on prepaid-account can be 
considered as carrier billing.

That said, the issue is exactly what you say in your last paragraph: it 
is very restricted by most regulations. The reason of this restriction 
imho is that you can usually complain about a bill when you see how much 
someone has charge you compared to what he promised to charge, but with 
pre-paid, you, as a user, have no way to track the transactions that is 
charged to your sim. You just know when you reached the end of your 
credit. Regulation have evolved in many countries, where now each 
transactions must be announced to the user with an SMS after it has be 
removed from the account.
The regulation have evolved in that direction (lots of restriction also 
on premium numbers and alike now) to protect the users, and this is 
definetly extra burden for merchants.
In all case, in my opinion, the clear trend in the last 5 years is 
surely not towards developing carrier billing, but towards using mobile 
money as a general payment system for unbanked populations, at least in 
sub-saharan africa.
All in one, I agree with you that carrier billing on prepaid could be 
good and easy for merchants, but I'm very doubtful that there will be 
sudden change in the trend.


Stephane Boyera
W3C                +33 (0) 6 73 84 87 27
BP 93
F-06902 Sophia Antipolis Cedex,

Received on Friday, 31 January 2014 11:54:23 UTC