carrier billing myths

4 Myths About Carrier Billing

18 August 2021
Carrier Billing

1. Carrier Billing Has Lack of Consumer Awareness

One misconception is that consumers are not yet aware of this practical payment option and it is still seen as an ‘alternative’ payment method. However, we cannot deny that mobile payments are on the rise, especially post-pandemic. And in actual fact, around two thirds of mobile users worldwide are paying for additional services via their mobile phone bill.

The Mobile Payments 2021 MEF Consumer Survey found that of those who do pay via carrier billing subscription services (e.g. Netflix and Spotify) are top (32% of users), as well as bundled services – paid for in this way by just over a quarter. It is true that the younger you are more likely you are to use carrier billing  but content subscriptions remain the most popular use case irrespective of age.

After all, almost everyone has a mobile phone these days and a big benefit of carrier billing is that anyone with a mobile phone can make a purchase. Whether referred to as DCB, operator billing, mobile billing, charge to bill or other, it could be a more familiar payment option than you think.

2. Carrier Billing Only Works Well in Unbanked Markets

Many have embraced carrier billing as an widely-accessible payment option for customers in emerging markets. It is arguably the only viable payment option for some, and its importance for reaching underbanked markets should not be undervalued – but it isn’t the only reason customers choose to pay via their mobile phone bill.

The top responses for why consumers use carrier billing as a payment method are – it’s more convenient (39%), and it’s faster (37%). The clear drivers for mobile payments are simplicity and speed, and in fact globally only 13% say that carrier billing is ‘the only way they can pay’.

Even in the presence of other payment options, fast and frictionless carrier billing experiences are a likely choice for consumers in developed markets. What’s more, carrier billing transactions are higher here e.g. in 2019 Western Europe had the highest average carrier billing transaction value worldwide. 

3. Carrier Billing is Not a Secure Payment Method

It’s no surprise that there are security concerns when it comes to any form of online transaction and ‘payment details being stolen’ is the top concern of mobile payments amongst consumers.

However, to pay by carrier billing users only need to enter their mobile phone number – a contrast to paying online via credit or debit card.

No logins or forms to fill out means less sensitive data is shared that could potentially be used by fraudsters or identity thieves – giving customers piece of mind, not to mention a quicker and smoother checkout process.

4. Carrier Billing is Difficult to Set up

Adopting carrier billing solutions may be easier than you think. The team at SLA Digital can help guide and streamline the entire process for mobile operators and merchants, ensuring you get the most out of mobile payments.

Through our dynamic platform SLA Digital does the heavy lifting, mobile operators can reduce development time and get to market faster with instant access to an already established merchant portfolio –  offering more choice to your customers.

Similarly, new merchants and content providers can be onboarded quickly, reducing time, cost and effort with a single integration to mobile operators across the globe. The result is new paying customers, better conversions and more revenue.

Get in touch with SLA Digital today and let’s talk about how we can make carrier billing easy and successful for your business.


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