- PROJECT HELP
Editor's note: This is the second part of a two-part series about the global rise of direct carrier billing. Read the first part.
By John BaRoss, founder and president, Fincclude Inc
As more consumers and merchant accept, appreciate and understand direct carrier billing, regulators and telecoms are making the necessary changes to deal with this payment method's rise in popularity.
Lawmakers are adjusting regulations while carriers modify their economic models to help unleash the potential of direct carrier billing for online merchants selling physical goods. I've spoken with global industry leaders involved in emerging direct carrier billing for physical goods initiatives and two (parallel) value propositions are evident:
What does the current global landscape look like for direct carrier billing and physical goods?
There are several of these partnerships, including ARPUPLUS/T-Pay, Bango, Boku, Centilli/Infobip, Danal, DIMOCO, Docomo Digital, Fortumo, Mobile Embrace, SLA Mobile and others. In the 12-to-18 months prior to 2016, some examples of direct carrier billing for physical goods included:
In 2016, the pace has picked up with more examples:
Of special note is the pioneering leadership of direct carrier billing in Japan.
NTT Docomo has championed extending the upper bounds of direct carrier billing for physical goods by providing an example to carriers worldwide that committed leadership is key. Consumers use direct carrier billing in Japan to purchase clothing and shoes, kitchenware, cosmetics and similar items, electronics, exercise equipment, food, home goods, toys and much more.
Another pioneering direct carrier billing initiative is Mercari, a fast growing flea market that allows users to both buy and sell clothes and goods. Consumers in Japan have direct carrier billing post-paid spending limits of between $500-to-$800 on certain demographics.
The growing success and knowledge of direct carrier billing is now going through a significant phase of accelerating expansion thanks to more permissive regulations worldwide, to evolving DCB tax policy (the recent debut of Google Play in India that found a way around a tax barrier), to visionary pioneering leadership at carriers, carrier-partner/suppliers, merchants and others in the ecosystem.
Leaders from carriers that encourage and reward innovators help leadership at other carriers where the task of building leadership alignment backing has a vastly greater probability of success when proof-of-concept evidence is demonstrable. However, as leaders of initiatives know, issues with go-to-market planning and execution, through scaling can be countless. A traditional companion for helping an industry to advance is via the assistance of industry associations which can help assist with at least common problems (lobbying, awareness driving, advocacy, etc.).
Direct carrier billing, along with carrier-backed mobile money schemes, are two multibillion dollar sectors of a rapidly emerging space increasingly being recognized as carrier commerce. These two established sectors, along with about three dozen emerging carrier commerce sectors, are helping to advance global financial inclusion.
Financial inclusion is a top global initiative for the Global Partnership for Financial Inclusion, which includes all G20 nations, the United Nations, 100-plus donor foundations, bi-lateral and multi-lateral agencies, private donors and investors who have contributed over $31 billion annually in recent years to help advance financial inclusion to reach some 2 billion consumers who remain unbanked worldwide.
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has assisted the non-profit Alliance for Financial Inclusion with millions of dollars in funding. A major role of the AFI is to help facilitate the cross-pollinating of financial inclusion success-knowledge to policy makers (government, carriers, banks, etc.). Downstream from policy is operational execution financial inclusion strategies and tactics (spanning proactive planning to reacting to time sensitive challenges that arise).
Non-profit FINCCLUDE (Financial Inclusion Now, Carrier Commerce Leading a Ubiquitous Digital Economy) is downstream from AFI, uniquely exclusively serving the carrier commerce industry at the intersection of financial inclusion by helping to facilitate the cross-pollinating of financial inclusion success-knowledge to operational leaders in carrier commerce (when necessary, as a rapid response unit). FINCCLUDE’s growing base of free members in carrier commerce are experienced, insightful and passionate about this space, willing to help global stakeholder colleagues by sharing relevant (non-proprietary) success-precedent/knowledge (for no fee or obligation) to help the industry advance at a greater pace, thus helping advance financial inclusion faster. You can learn more at www.fincclude.org.