BOKU inks T-Mobile agreement

May 30, 2012

T-Mobile, the U.S. operation of wireless giant Deutsche Telecom, is expanding its carrier billing relationships once again. Just a day after carrier biller PayOne announced a new partnership with the wireless carrier, BOKU Inc. announced it is now an approved carrier billing gateway for T-Mobile's digital storefront, the T-Mobile Mall. The new deal means developers of games and apps at the T-Mobile Mall can now accept in-app payments from T-Mobile subscribers and place the charges direction on subscribers' monthly statments.

"Our merchants find significant value in the high conversion rate of mobile payments with in-app purchases," said Ron Hirson, BOKU's president. "By combining our bank-grade technology with the access to millions of customers who regularly use the T-Mobile Mall, we're confident this global billing and distribution method will add tremendous value to game developers seeking a wider audience and increased revenue."

As with other direct carrier billers, BOKU provides a much-needed payment method to many digital content users, and a much-needed method for developers to monetize their content. Digital content like games and social media often attract younger users who may not have access to a credit or debit account, and direct carrier billing offers them the option to leverage their mobile accounts as a payment method.

Along with monetizing their content, BOKU offers developers a simple integration via its SDK for Android that offers consumers a "1-Tap" payment method that means they no longer have to enter and re-enter credit card and billing information. Additonally, the 1-Tap payment lets customers pay for upgrades or new content without having to leave a game, greatly increasing conversion rates.

"Our business is driven by quick and easy in-game transactions," said Alisa Chumachenko, CEO of Game Insight, a BOKU merchant. "BOKU's 1-Tap SDK keeps players in the game with less time navigating transaction menus; something everyone can appreciate."

"BOKU is a strong partner and a key part of our strategic vision to offer our consumers payment options that add value to and simplify the transaction experience," said Venetia Espinoza, T-Mobile USA director of digital stores and mobile payments.

Espinoza said T-Mobile's quality games and gamers combined with BOKU's strong connection to T-Mobile APIs, 1-Tap SDK integration and access to the Android developer community will bring in more people to T-Mobile's app store ecosystem and benefit everyone in the process.

BOKU said its technology is integrated across more than 60 countries and hundreds of carriers, handling everything from localization to payment authorization. Now with the new agreement, an additional 34 million T-Mobile subscribers will join BOKU's base of nearly 4 billion wireless subscribers worldwide.

BOKU is headquartered in San Francisco. Founded in 2010, the company has received $73 million in funding from Andreessen Horowitz, Khosla Ventures and others.

For more stories like this, visit the Direct Carrier Billing research center.

Topics: Direct Carrier Billing , Gaming , In-App Payments , Mobile Apps

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