txtNation’s compliance officer Brooklyn Bhandari attended premium telecoms regulator PhonepayPlus’s recent seminar on compliance.

The meet-up on 27th May focussed on Due Diligence, Risk Assessment and Control (DDRAC), outlining changes to the new Code of Practice governing premium-rate mobile services in the UK.

txtNation remains committed to best practice to ensure consumers receive secure, reliable services and that our clients are able to deliver exciting and innovative new business models whilst maintaining compliance with key requirements.

We are proud to work alongside our clients and the wider industry to learn and influence how services are undertaken.

PhonepayPlus has now made their presentation available for anyone to view (PDF).

 

Jon Rowsell, txtNation’s managing director, attended the AIME Quarterly General Meeting on 23rd October in the City of London.

It was kickstarted by Garret Doyle, COO of Irish consultancy Red Flag. Garret was formerly CEO of iTouch, a substantial aggregator ten years ago, which was subsequently acquired. Red Flag lobbies on behalf of diverse industries, with recent activity centring on big tobacco’s issues with non-branded packaging and aiding charities with Premium SMS donations to maximise Gift Aid. Garret shared his experiences of lobbying for policy change with its benefits and pitfalls.

The Payment Services Directive (PSD) was a recurring topic at the GM, where we learned more about how AIME, PPP and the MBG are working together, alongside the UK Treasury, on the wording of this key directive, including exemptions for mobile billing and marketing from Financial Services Authority oversight. Selling physical goods via mobile, which is currently blocked, was also touched upon in that context.

Next up was Jeremy Stafford-Smith, Vodafone B2B Compliance Manager, who invited txtNation along with other L1s to a workshop on the customer journey, focussed on bringing consistency, timeliness and accuracy of information throughout the value chain to benefit end users. txtNation will report back on the success of these customer care implementations in November.

Jeremy Flynn from Empello, which monitors compliance on behalf of Vodafone, highlighted the importance of prominent, clear customer care details  and the crucial responsiveness of support personnel through each provided contact method. Receiving prompt service was heavily underlined as key to providing effective customer care and he reminded us of the simple choices open to complainants: the number checker on PhonepayPlus’s website, which acts as a database of all registered L1 providers, and the prominent, red “Complain” button, highlighting the importance of providing timely customer care.

AIME has been doing a good job, proactively targeting other sectors to stimulate member activity, with recent representation of the organisation at the Telemedia trade show. Other activity is planned, with the focus on apps and gaming at Apps World (12th – 13th November) and on iGaming at Pay360 (25th November), as well as next year’s Digital Media Summit (February 2015). Major press and online media coverage is also planned.

This year saw AIME release their Digital Marketing Guidelines, following lengthy consultation, and although they do not yet form part of PPP’s official Code, they will be taken into account as mitigation when adopted during tribunal.

The AIME Early Warning System, which confidentially keeps industry ahead of potential issues through inter-group notifications, was trumpeted as a success, though a request for more submissions was heard. Similarly, AIME is planning to form a group called COBRA, drawing parallels with the UK Government’s emergency response group of the same name set up to respond to emergency situations in the realm of interactive media and entertainment, helping reduce potential consumer harm and relieve resources by stemming problems before they escalate.

Next was exciting news of a 2015 Telemedia / AIME UK event to be held somewhere outside of London, details to be released in the coming months. We’ll write about that on the blog when it is announced.

AIME has formed a new Charity Working Group attended by Children In Need, Comic Relief, Soccer Aid, Cancer Research, among other charities, with the primary aim of collecting Gift Aid through SMS reply rather than mobile micro-sites. The opportunity effectively represents a £3.75m blackhole, where donors don’t complete the requirements necessary to avoid 25% of the donation going into UK government coffers.

Rory Maguire of AIME received praise for playing a notable part in the ongoing 13th Code Consultation, backing various changes including upping the maximum daily cost per “call” (same will apply to SMS) to £45 from £30, the prior permission regime changes that mean it should need less administration to go live with services by reducing the lengthy approval process, and a lower barrier to contest tribunal decisions.

Various parts of the consultation were objected to, including, importantly, the classification of children’s services, with outliers like Candy Crush Saga being classified as a children’s service, due to it’s cartoon nature, despite the biggest user demographic comprising women in the 18 – 30 age bracket.

Other business saw calls for AIME being involved in EE’s recent announcement, with Three’s upcoming backing, that will herald new rules preventing multibill Premium SMS so that you can no longer send, for example, 2 x £1.50 messages to bill £3.00, as well as signalling a change to all regulatory messages so that the likes of spend reminders and Payforit opt-in PINs have to be terminated via their direct routes, as opposed to cheaper standard rate MT routes.

All in all, it was a busy, proactive and positive meeting that focussed on a number of vital topics to our sector.

 

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When acquiring new customers via mobile, a smooth payment process can be the key difference between a sale and a drop-off. The mobile customer has the option to purchase on the go, meaning the more impulsive the payment process allows them to be, the better.

Payforit offers a fast, seamless payment process in the UK, like no other option. As a brand, it is becoming more and more trusted as it becomes more and more known, so customers can feel safe.

‘Single-Click’ payments are the optimum solution for use on the mobile web, increasing conversion rates even more. Using MSISDN forwarding, the user’s mobile number is detected, eliminating the need to enter any information. They simply press the button and pay, being charged to their contract or pre-paid credit.

We recently announced that growing trend in both customers and clients have moved us to focus on optimising our mobile billing solutions for use on the mobile web. Smartphone penetration rates have grown a lot in recent years, all over the world and businesses are finding that their customers are accessing their online services on their handsets a lot more than they used to.

 

'Single-Click' Payment on Mobile Web

‘Single-Click’ Payment on Mobile Web

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

With Payforit ‘Single-Click’ the end-user experiences a simple payment flow when using the mobile web, as shown above. If they access the service on WiFi or on a desktop, they can enter their phone number to pay, as shown below.

 

Payforit on a WiFi connection

Payforit on a WiFi connection

Payforit on a WiFi connection

Payforit on a WiFi connection

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Webinar: Increasing Conversion and Retention for iGaming
Wednesday 26th March, 14:00 (GMT)

We have done a lot of work with iGaming operators, enabling them to accept mobile payments, increasing their conversion rates on mobile. We are therefore presenting a webinar to cover ways in which you can effectively increase conversion rates and retain your current customers, through mobile. Register here.

2013 : Mobile Billing and Mobile Marketing

As expected by many, 2013 has seen a huge increase in the number of smartphones in use across the world, as well as more people using their handsets to access the internet. This has had an impact on the mobile billing and messaging industries, with a growing need to expand into more and more markets throughout the year.

Recent research by eMarketer suggests that there are now 30.9m smartphone users in the UK, which is over 60% of all mobile users. According to research reported in Marketing Magazine earlier in the year, over 50% of the global population accesses mobile internet at least once a week, with 35% using it daily.

Global Coverage
With a finger firmly on the pulse of the industry, txtNation made some big steps forward, catering to the growing demand. 2013 has seen txtNation expand its global reach, with direct connectivity in Switzerland and Belgium and the launch of 4T Mobile Payments in Denmark.

As mobile billing becomes more and more popular in the United Kingdom, Payforit released version 4 of its payment solution. In November, it was announced that version 4.4 would be released, with a number of changes to improve the customer experience. As a brand, Payforit has made an impact, with consumer trust growing, which can only be a good thing for businesses that accept mobile payments in the UK.

As txtNation expanded globally in its coverage, a number of new appointments in relevant markets were made. Matt Barbieri, joined as Territory Manager for Africa, Andrew Rippon as Territory Manager for the Middle East and most recently, Hans Tjolle was appointed Territory Manager for Benelux.

External Changes
During quarter 3 of 2013, it was announced that mobile networks in Ireland would be blocking any off-net or foreign traffic. This has looked to become a trend throughout other countries too, which is bad news for those offering low quality messaging routes, but better for businesses in the long run, as they will have less chance of working with aggregators who offer these cheaper options.

In the summer, Sweden’s WyWallet scrapped its registration process, as it looked to improve the customer journey and increase conversion rates. Mobile payments in the Nordics has been healthy over the last year, with the networks really working hard to build consumer trust.

In the United States, new regulations came into force from the Mobile Network Operators, stopping charges for premium SMS, meaning businesses can no longer use PSMS as a solution for monetizing services in the USA. This came into effect in November of this year.

For txtNation, 2013 was a big year, as not only did we reach our 10th birthday, following our growth from a bedroom business in 2002, but we also expanded, by acquiring South Africa and UK based 24G Media. We launched USSD menus and released our next generation control panel, MytxtNation.

Calvinayre.comMobile Payments for iGaming
Gaming and Gambling is one industry that has shown a lot of recent growth on mobile, and mobile payments has, in 2013, become a talking point for many operators. This year, txtNation attended many gaming and gambling specific events, including EiG Totally Gaming in Barcelona, Mobile Marketing Magazine’s Mobile Gaming and Gambling Summit, mGaming Summit, Social Gaming Summit and Mobile and Tablet Gambling Summit, where our CEO, Michael Whelan was interviewed by Rebecca Liggero of Calvin Ayre.com about mobile payments.

2013 Awards and Achievements
This year saw us nominated for the Effective Mobile Marketing Awards in the ‘Best m-commerce solution’ category for our flagship ‘plug-and-pay’ billing solution JunglePay. We were named among Top 50 Mobile Innovators by Mobile Entertainment Magazine and nominated in the ‘Best Mobile Payments Company’ category in the Mobile Entertainment Awards as well as numerous others.

Mobile has grown in importance in 2013, with many businesses seeing the need to optimise the full user journey, from marketing and website to payment process. We have seen some exciting stories develop in mobile payments, with Buy Game Credit enabling Xbox players to purchase points via their handsets, and mobile dating site BeFlirty seeing a huge increase in revenue following their integration of Payforit with txtNation.

If you would like to discuss mobile billing and mobile messaging with us, to help your business increase profits in 2014, please contact us.

MytxtNation

We’re delighted to announce the launch of our brand new control panel, MytxtNation. To get started, simply log in at http://my.txtnation.com using your current Control Panel username and password.

Currently in final Beta release, this new online statistic and accounting platform has been born out of the need to cater for the developments and technology changes in mobile operator billing and messaging, further showcasing txtNation’s pursuit to be the global leader in mobile billing.

Catering for Mobile Operator Billing transactions and accounting from this release, over the coming months we will be adding more features to this platform.

Ashley Cross, txtNation’s COO, says of the beta launch: “We’ve designed our new control panel to make every client’s account clearer and more responsive, putting financial and messaging data front-and-centre and drastically removing “noise” by taking out less popular features. The team has worked really hard to make this happen. But this is only the start and we have built the foundations to make MytxtNation the future hub for all our key client services.” He adds that “we encourage our clients to be vocal with their feedback about the new system so that we can ensure it meets the needs and expectations of those it serves.”

The new version includes:

  • Simple, easy to use interface
  • Accounting for all types of Mobile Billing
    • Premium SMS; Silent Billing, On-Net Billing, Mobile Web Billing
    • Direct Operator Billing; Payforit, WyWallet, 4T
  • Unifies all txtNation direct mobile operator connections, globally
  • Transparency – clear real time campaign reports
  • Historical data
  • Pending and actual transaction data
  • Clearer, more responsive account balance
  • Interactive messaging activity and statistics
  • Multi-currency display settings
  • Improved export options
  • Instant searching and browsing of key data
  • Improved graphs, charts and information panels
  • Optimised for desktop and mobile
  • And much more!

We have worked hard to bring the new control panel to you. We welcome you to start using MytxtNation.

“The future of mobile casino depositing belongs to operator billing.”

Michael Whelan CEO, txtNation

 

Operator billing is quickly becoming a ubiquitous feature for all good mobile gambling sites and that trend is set to increase exponentially over the coming years.

 

What it is that gives operator billing the edge over alternatives used in mobile gambling?

  • Convenience of paying directly via your mobile – it’s in your hand when you use the casino – why anything else?
  • Mobility is the key for most people; after all, that is the reason why many users choose a mobile casino. Phone bill casinos do what it says on the tin; with a simple button or text – you are charged to your mobile operator account.
  • No credit card details required – meaning no forms to fill out, opening it up to users with no credit card or do not want to use their credit card on such sites.

 

The drawbacks?

In most markets e.g. the UK on Payforit, you will be limited to £30. In other markets – it varies.

For most casual players, that’s more than enough – plus, even for the more serious players, this can be used as a great method for depositing quickly. And not to forget as a quick engaging, customer acquisition tool, its unmatched.

Calvinayre.comtxtNation CEO Michael Whelan was interviewed about mobile payments in Brazil by Becky Liggero for CalvinAyre.com at the Mobile and Tablet Gambling Summit in London yesterday.

Much of the discussion at the event centred around payment strategies for mobile gambling operators with mobile payments considered an important solution.

When asked why txtNation’s payment solution is a good fit for the Brazilian market, Michael said “Most users in these markets do not have credit cards, they have very little cash in that society in terms of the type of amounts you’d look to charge for.”

He added “It’s seamless, it’s just one click and end-users can top up immediately.”

You can watch the full day two summary video on on CalvinAyre.com, or see our photos from the event in our recent blog post.

Find out more about our mobile billing solutions for mobile gaming and gambling.