The benefits of “charge to mobile” or C2M for merchants was the main headline at the mPayments Summit in London on June 9, 2015. Throughout the course of the day, mobile providers and prospective users gathered at 1 America Square to discuss key issues surrounding C2M, regulation and how to further engage mobile customers.
Keynote speaker Dr. Windsor Holden delivered a presentation highlighting the benefits of carrier billing, pointing out the 60% higher conversion rates for first time transactions and 70% higher conversion rates for second time transactions when compared to credit card billing. Despite the fact fees are higher for C2M billing, the conversion rate is that much stronger, making it a payment method merchants simply can’t afford to ignore.
The Summit’s “Getting consumer buy-in and delivering customer service” panel featured Sharan Rattan of Three, Naomi Maggs of EE, Chris Newell of ImplusePay and Kevin Dawson of Oxygen8. The main takeaway from the discussion was the importance of educating merchants and customers on the effectiveness and simplicity of C2M.
Dawson explained there are other areas in the world that are more progressed than the UK on this subject. Africa, for example, is a region where customers are dependant on C2M. The key to spreading the word is by pushing C2M to merchants and educating them on the benefits – engage the merchants to actively promote C2M to their customers, he said.
Newell talked on the challenges networks face with C2M customer service and “bill shock” and said when the charge comes up on the bill, there is too little information available to remind the customer what the charge is for. People also read negative stories on the internet about phone bill charges, so the industry must come together and figure out how to address these issues.
In closing, all panellists agreed products offering C2M in the UK are quite niche at the moment, but once the mass market products start using C2M, it will be much easier to raise awareness of this payment method.
The afternoon’s “How to reach a wider market whilst building in existing business sectors” featured Claire McLaughlin of BBC, Mark Challinor of INMA, Tony Pearce of GamesGrabbr and Rob Weisz of fonix.
Micropayments were discussed during the panel and it was agreed testing the waters with such payments is a good way to introduce customers to C2M. Pierce pointed out the popularity of “freemium” games and how customers can purchase new lives, levels, etc, with just one click whereas before it was through SMS’s costing up to a pound each. Now its so easy, “its all about 10p, 50p” he said.
When it comes to online gambling operators, Weisz said C2M is a great match as operators can use mobile payments for acquiring customers and bringing customers back. He did mention 67% of customers convert to credit card after an initial C2M purchase, but who cares, its all about the acquisition.
Weisz also mentioned an example of how one merchant took advantage of the C2M option. When customers arrived at the payments page and couldn’t be bothered with filling in all their details, they were served a pop-up with the option of paying by mobile- you’d be surprised with the success rate, he said.
Another point made during the panel was the importance of informing customers of exactly what they are buying and for how much when using C2M. “If people know what they are buying, they are not complaining”, explained Weisz.
At the conclusion of the event, Jarvis Todd, organizer of the mPayment Summit, explained this year was all about mobile payments in general and why they are good for all industries. Next year he envisions the event to be segmented into mPayments for separate industries, so independent sessions dedicated to gaming, print, charity, etc.
In the meantime, check back with Telemedia Online to learn more about the exploding mPayments sector and how it can positively impact your business…don’t miss the boat!