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Direct carrier biller PaymentOne Corporation announced that it has dating site BeatifulPeople.com as a client. According to the announcement, PaymentOne will provide BeautifulPeople.com with alternative payment services including mobile payments and carrier billing options.
Calling itself "the largest network of attractive people in the world," BeautifulPeople.com is an online dating community with 700,000 members. The site is probably best known for letting the existing community members vote on new candidates based on their "attractiveness."
Through its agreement with PaymentOne, members will be able to charge their subscription fees to mobile, landline and broadband bills without providing a credit card or other financial information. Members enter their phone numbers, receive a text message on their mobile devices and confirm their payment.
"We have very strict acceptance rules, driven by a democratic selection process," said Greg Hodge, managing director of BeautifulPeople.com, in the announcement. "But once you’re accepted we strive to offer the best services to our members, and the simplicity, safety and convenience of just charging our service to your mobile or carrier bill is a beautiful way to pay."
In the announcement of the agreement, Payment One Senior Vice President Roger Pavane said that "frictionless and secure mobile payments are key to expanding successful services like BeautifulPeople.com." He added that the 5 billion mobile devices in use by consumers worldwide are the most ubiquitous global payment device and outnumber credit cards by more than two to one.
Direct carrier billing, which allows consumers to place digital purchases on their monthly landline or mobile phone bills, has been especially important to online gaming sites where customers may be young and not have access to credit cards or bank accounts.
In a call with Mobile Payments Today, Pavane said his company still has strong ties with game developers, but it is looking to expand its mobile payment services outside the gaming space. Pavane said the new agreement with BeautifulPeople.com is a part of that larger strategy.
"What we're doing is going after big brands. We're going after social media sites and entertainment," Pavane said. PaymentOne’s experience in direct carrier billing — the company pioneered the service 12 years ago, according to Pavane — gives the company an advantage over startups now entering the mobile payment and direct carrier billing space, he said.
"We’ve been doing this longer than anyone else," Pavane said.
(Photo courtesy of C.G.P. Grey)