Update on AIME Quarterly General Meeting & Charge to Mobile Working Group

Members of txtNation’s support, compliance and business development teams attended the AIME Quarterly General Meeting & Charge to Mobile Working Group on 8th February in the City of London.

It was kickstarted by Rory Maguire, AIME Managing Director who gave details on Edward Boddington stepping down as AIME Chair after 7 years and welcomed Neil Johnson as a new board member. Next, there were various updates about AIME membership, performance, activities and future plans.

Rory Neil set out AIME’s key objectives, vision and mission as:

  • To be the UK specialist Trade Association for telecoms, interactive media and micropayment businesses focussing on existing and emerging micropayment facilities while building on relationships with innovative organisations and developing a unique environment of shared knowledge and experiences.
  • To create opportunities where members can develop their business while trusting that their interests are being protected, inspire confidence and promote commercial growth.
  • To support, develop, innovate and be the voice for all businesses involved in interactive media, digital media and micropayment industries
  • To focus on the growth of the telecoms and mobile billing markets, successfully support innovation, examine other micropayment opportunities, to be the voice for our members businesses in these industries throughout the value chain, and continue to advocate best practice and standards.

In the charge to mobile working group this quarter’s main meeting focus was on PSD2 (Payment Service Directive 2) – this was a hot discussion for over an hour of the meeting, discussing the implementation into UK law which may have industry changing effects requiring expensive licenses to operate, however there is currently a debate confirming when a license is required. MNO’s are affected by Article 3 which has exclusions on amounts under €50 per user per month and a total of €300 per month, only excluding digital goods, possibly charity & tickets. Difficulties come from being able to monitor, on a per user basis, across many different merchants when these limits are hit. Further progress is expected in March following a treasury consultation.

It then moved on to the new ‘Principle Based’ format and layout of Payforit, which is not recommended for high risk services was touched on in the context of “lower” risk services that meet industry KPIs.

In the meeting it covered the process of moving a proposed service from the normal PayForit scheme rules to the principle based rules, the main milestones are:

  • Getting approval for each network individually
  • Showing how to risk assess provider you accessed the risk profile of the proposed service according to the PSA taxonomy of risk
  • Pass-porting across providers
  • Measurements & KPIs from the last 6 months
  • Moves to higher risk services from low risk providers

KPIs are a key focus for the industry at the moment and again a hot topic at the meeting. L1 and L2s need to be monitoring for high levels of customer complaints, opt-outs and for example if a service is offering a free trial, e.g. 24 hour, if 30% opt out, you should be looking to ask why?

It was mooted by the Payforit management group if a password based system for high risk services should be implemented. This would see users being able to create an account to make further payments and logging into the merchant website easier. Discussion evolved into this requiring the login details needing to be different from the user’s payment login details, e.g. logging into Ebay but then logging into pay with PayPal. The general consensus was that this would not work however the Payforit Management Group (PFIMG) seek AIME member and other stakeholder feedback.

The regulatory consultations update was, as always for txtNation, an interesting topic, where we learned more about how PSA Investigations have increased by 24% and consumer contacts increasing 41% year on year. It was confirmed that PSA registration fees are to stay the same in the coming year.

Ofcom are reviewing General Conditions focusing on seven areas of review:

  • Contract requirements
  • Information publication and transparency requirements
  • Billing requirements
  • Complaints handling and access to alternative dispute resolution;
  • Measures to meet the needs of vulnerable consumers and end-users with disabilities;
  • Tackling nuisance calls and provision of calling line identification facilities, and
  • Rules on switching and mis-selling.

txtNation will give more updates on the Ofcom review as they are relayed to industry.

We thank the AIME board for a well put together and informative presentation and look forward to the next Charge to Mobile and General Meeting on 9th May 2017.

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