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Telefonica Digital partners with mobile payments firm Bango

Telefonica Digital and mobile payments and analytics company Bango have just announced that they have signed a global partnership agreement to create an enhanced direct-to-bill payment experience for mobile app stores. The partnership will combine Bango’s “frictionless payment experience” with Telefonica’s BlueVia Payment APIs, to connect over 314m chargeable customers to the Bango Payments Platform.

Telefonica is rolling out direct to bill capabilities in its operating businesses and has already announced agreements with Facebook, Google, Microsoft and RIM. Jose Valles, Head of Telefonica’s BlueVia, said of the deal with Bango:

“At the heart of every great service is first class customer experience. Mobile payments must be seamless and low friction for the customer. Through this partnership, we are delivering a mobile billing ecosystem that empowers the app store and content owners to achieve mass scale in their business through global reach and a payment method far broader than credit cards.”

According to the two companies, trials of ‘direct to bill’ in Telefonica operating businesses have proven its ability to drive sales. Where Bango has introduced operator billing to developed markets with high credit card penetration, the company understands that sales of digital goods have routinely increased by 300 to 400 per cent.

By integrating the single BlueVia billing API into the Bango Payments Platform, the idea is that app stores will benefit from higher payment conversion rates, especially from Wi-Fi-connected and other “off-network” devices. Bango CEO Ray Anderson says that the two partners share a strategic vision to widen access to paid content by standardising and simplifying operator-billed mobile payments:

“We will standardise on BlueVia to connect with Telefonica’s 314m subscribers around the world and look forward to welcoming other operators who join this initiative, as Telenor has done”.

A key goal of the partnership is to accelerate the availability of a standardised and open payment platform for all app stores and content providers and to improve the customer experience. The platform will be available to all app stores, supporting operator-billing and other payment methods through a single, common platform.

The two companies say that the advantage to the customer of this approach is a seamless payment flow with no requirement to enter personal information or leave the payment session.

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