Key Carrier Billing Trends for 2022

27 January 2022
Carrier Billing

Mobile and Payments Market Overview

Juniper Research has predicted that by 2024, direct carrier billing will account for more than 1 in 5 digital content sales. Carrier Billing has, to some extent, the COVID-19 pandemic to thank for this enhanced growth.

App Annie statistics show how the pandemic has “accelerated existing mobile habits, which have solidified in 2021”. 2021 seen 23 billion new app downloads (up 5% YOY). Emerging markets such as Pakistan, Peru, Philippines, Vietnam, Indonesia and Egypt, have been dominating app download growth, with India at the top of the leader board.

App store spend has increased by 19% YOY to $170B, while daily time spent in apps per user has increased by 30% over the last 2 years (to 4.8hrs), with users in Brazil, Indonesia and South Korea exceeding 5 hours per day.

Evolving Consumer Behaviour and What this Means for Carrier Billing

Last month, we focused on how Gaming Tokenization, Crypto Currency, Public Transport, EV Charging and In-Vehicle Payments are great opportunities for carrier billing. With digital consumption rising by 30% over the pandemic and consumer behaviour patterns evolving, let’s take a look at other areas of interest for direct carrier billing in 2022.

Social, Photo & Video Apps

  • 7 out of every 10 Minutes on Mobile was spent in Social and Photo & Video Apps in 2021, with video content consumption increasing by 60%
  • Although consumers have been spending more time on apps like YouTube and TikTok, this, for the most part has “not been at the expense of current habits”. Interestingly, consumers are turning “historically ‘non-mobile’ time into time spent in apps and games”
  • With social platforms such as Instagram, Twitter and TikTok rolling out trial subscription features, carrier billing offers a seamless, secure and instant payment method for social, photo or video apps, removing the friction and hassle of card payments


  • Each year, the gaming industry is levelling up and becoming more lucrative. 2021 was no exception, with publishers releasing 2 million new apps & games, achieving a whopping $116bn spend
  • Casual vs hyper casual games – in 2021, Hypercasual game downloads were led by the likes of Bridge Race and Hair Challenge, while “the gaming scene in China has seen renewed excitement over the release of Harry Potter Magic Awakened and League of Legends: Wild Rift”
  • Carrier billing can take mobile payments to the next level, helping users to game on by making it simple to add gaming vouchers, gift cards, tokens and top-ups to their mobile phone bills

Dating Apps

  • Primarily driven by the US, Japan, the UK and China, spend on dating apps has exceeded over $4bn in 2021 – a 95% increase since 2018, with the likes of Tinder “becoming more popular among Gen Z in the USA”
  • Carrier billing is a great match for dating app payments, either for monthly subscription payments or once-off payments for in-app features

Live Streaming

  • Last year seen the return of live streaming for many sporting events such as the Tokyo Olympics, UEFA Euro Tournament, and Cricket World Cup
  • With the live streaming industry expected to reach $184.27 billion by 2027, the opportunities for subscription-based, or one-off carrier billing payments are endless

Job Search Apps

The possibilities for carrier billing really are as endless as the apps available on mobile today. Today, most industries can be a mobile-focused industry. Carrier billing makes services available not only to underbanked populations, but offers an amazing opportunity to increase revenue streams and reach new customers on a global scale. Get in touch with SLA Digital today to find out how we can help you explore carrier billing.

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