Monetising mobile for gaming and gambling

Next week’s ICE Totally Gaming exhibition in London will see some the biggest names in gaming and gambling meet under one roof, at the ExCeL. txtNation will be exhibiting there, as a trusted provider of mobile billing and messaging solutions with experience of working with gambling and gaming operators.

Having previously discussed issues faced by gambling operators in our blog posts ‘Increasing Loyalty and Retention for Mobile Gaming‘, ‘The Importance of Going Mobile’ and ‘Overcoming the Challenges of Going Mobile’, we now look at how to monetise mobile.

Mobile billing offers a simple, seamless payment solution, with a great customer experience, leading to increased conversion rates. As part of the signup process on a mobile optimised site, the time taken to complete payment is a huge factor in whether or not customers drop-off.

For mobile applications, in-app billing offers a solution for making money, without relying on advertising.The level of sophistication of the billing solution depends on the app, with some able to receive and interpret the Premium SMS, before informing the customer that they have paid. It is possible for apps to require that the user enters a code or password that they receive in an SMS message to activate the add-ons or service.

Mobile payments offers convenience to your customers, increasing trust and confidence in your brand. The ubiquity and ability to cater for a wider audience profile (including non-credit card customers) makes it essential for any mobile strategy.

This is a low-cost payment solution, which is easy to set up with txtNation’s dedicated account management and expert compliance and technical support. We offer everything you need if you are looking to increase your mobile presence, by accepting mobile billing.

txtNation will be exhibiting at ICE Totally Gaming at ExCeL London, 4th – 6th February at stand N12-252. If you would like to book a meeting with us to discuss mobile billing and mobile messaging, please contact us.

txtNation has appointed Michael Hill as Chief Financial Officer as it aims to grow over the next 12 months.

Michael has over 10 years of experience in working with internet and telecoms businesses. A chartered accountant, he worked in public practice for over 12 years and worked for BDO Stoy Hayward in their London Head Office for 3 years. During the dotcom-boom in the late 1990s, he joined an internet start-up before becoming the Finance Director of LineOne, a joint venture between BT and United Business Media.

After selling the business to Tiscali in 2001, he became their UK Group CFO, until the business was sold to the TalkTalk Group in 2009. During the 8 years that he was with the business he oversaw a period of significant growth and market change; as Tiscali grew from being an unknown UK brand to become one of the largest and most successful ISPs in the country. He has since been working on a consultancy basis.

Michael’s arrival follows the appointments of Ian Woodgate and Michael Greenberg, who both recently joined txtNation’s Business Development team.

Michael Whelan, CEO of txtNation commented “We’re excited to work with Michael. He brings years of experience to the team and will allow us to set clear financial goals and measure the outcomes of our projects.”

Overcoming the Challenges of Going Mobile

Going mobile can be a big step for any business and as with any change, it brings a number of challenges. With the growth in smartphone penetration around the world, many predict 2014 to be the year of mobile.

As ICE Totally Gaming approaches, and many gambling operators are looking to step up their mobile presence, it is important to be aware of the challenges and how to overcome them. Here are three issues that you may face when planning your strategy.

Targeting:
The closer to the consumer your message is, the more targeted it needs to be. When customers see billboard or magazine advertisements, this impersonal approach doesn’t annoy them, however, as we move to more personal forms of communication, for example, to their mobile handset, the communication needs to be targeted specifically to them.

With bulk SMS marketing, customers can be targeted, much like they can with email marketing. txtNation also offer highly targeted and cleaned datalists, so your initial communication with potential customers is efficient.

Localisation
This is a potential challenge across many areas, however, when looking to offer the ability to pay by mobile, it is key that you look to use a provider with a good amount of coverage. You can see our coverage section for more information on the countries which which we offer mobile messaging and billing services.

Optimisation
When optimising for mobile, the whole customer journey should be considered. Building awareness on mobile can be through mobile ads, bulk SMS marketing and augumented reality or other forms of linking offline with mobile, among other options.

Social media can be optimised by considering the user experience for your customers if they access Facebook and Twitter on their handsets. Shorter posts, visual if possible, ideally with as much as possible covered in the post itself, rather than redirecting them to other websites.

We’ve all been hearing plenty of experts tell us to optimise our websites for mobile, with responsive seemingly the current norm. However, once your customers reach the payment screen, the process needs to be as streamlined as possible. A fiddly credit card form on a mobile handset will result in a low conversion rate, however, a simple mobile payments solution will allow end-users to make payments quickly and easily, without dropping off.

 

txtNation will be exhibiting at ICE Totally Gaming at ExCeL London, 4th – 6th February at stand N12-252. If you would like to book a meeting with us to discuss mobile payments and mobile messaging, please contact us.

Mobile Payments in KenyaThe award-winning provider of mobile billing and messaging solutions, txtNation, has now launched its mobile billing solution using Premium SMS in Kenya, allowing businesses to accept mobile payments in the African country.

Kenya is one of the fastest growing markets in mobile content and mobile commerce activity, with a 97% growth in 2013.  With a population of over 40m and a mobile penetration of 78%, this is a strong country to enter. Recent statistics also show that 77% of internet enabled mobile phone users buy products online.

txtNation can now offer mobile billing using Premium SMS across the networks Airtel and Safaricom with customer price points / tariffs available across 30.00 To 50.00 KES. The new shortcode for Kenya has been added to txtNation platform and is live now, complementing the company’s existing African footprint.

txtNation’s Area Manager for Africa, Sampson Enwere said “Africa’s mobile market is the fastest growing in the world and we are delighted to add Kenya to our already strong mobile billing solutions.”

Contact us to find out more about mobile billing and mobile messaging and how we can benefit your business. Read more about mobile billing in Africa.

txtNation, has appointed Mobile Billing and Messaging focused Business Development professional, Ian Woodgate as NBDO UK as it pushes to increase its market share over the next 12 months.

With 15 years of experience in the industry, Ian has previously worked across several aggregators and service providers. He has enjoyed much success and has built a strong reputation for himself.

This appointment follows the recent news that Michael Greenberg has joined txtNation as NBDO for the iGaming industry and the appointment of Hans Tjolle as Territory Manager for Benelux.

Danny Marino, txtNation’s Chief Business Development Officer said “Ian brings years of experience to our Business Development team in the UK. He has a great track record and extremely strong commercial awareness of mobile payments and messaging; and how these technologies can aid achieving business goals. We are excited to be working with him.”

If you would like to contact Ian to discuss how mobile billing and messaging can help your business, click here.

Michael Greenberg

Michael Greenberg

As part of a push to further establish itself as a trusted provider of mobile billing and messaging solutions in the iGaming space, txtNation has appointed Michael Greenberg as NBDO for iGaming and mobile gambling.

txtNation aims to increase its market share in the mobile gambling and iGaming space in the next 12 months, as the need for mobile payments and SMS marketing solutions increases in the industry.

Having spent several years working within Blue Chip companies in the UK including Britsh Telecom and Yell, covering sales, training and managerial positions, Michael has spent the last few years focusing on business development across multiple sectors. This eventually led him to form his own company, SMART Consultancy Limited, based in Gibraltar, focusing on developing business within the mobile,social, and iGaming sectors.

Danny Marino, txtNation’s CBDO said “We are really looking forward to have Michael join the team. We have been working hard to increase our value and presence in the gambling / iGaming space and are looking with anticipation to working with more companies in this space in the coming months. His expert knowledge in this field will enable us to deliver product and solutions at a strategic partner level to the iGaming Merchants.”

Mobile Billing and Mobile Marketing in UruguayAs a part of a push to increase global reach, with its mobile billing and messaging solutions, txtNation is now connected in Uruguay.

With a population of around 3.3 million, Uruguay is a comparatively small country, however, this is a regional leader in both fixed and mobile telecoms, with a mobile penetration of over 150%. Figures from the World Bank show that Uruguay’s GDP per capita reached $13,866 in 2011.

Internet users in Uruguay are moving to mobile at a high rate, especially compared to other countries in South America. According to the Unidad Reguladora de Servicios de Comunicaciones (URSEC), mobile broadband use in Uruguay is has been greatly increasing in recent years, with 5 million mobile connections in the country in December 2012, a 5% increase on the previous year.

txtNation can now offer mobile operator billing across the networks Ancel, CTI and Movistar with customer price points / tariffs available across 10.000 To 27.000 UYG. The new shortcode for Uruguay has been added to txtNation platform and is live now.

Ashley Cross, COO at txtNation commented “We are delighted to announce our connectivity in Uruguay. We will now be looking to introduce current and clients into that market. Mobile use in Uruguay is still growing, so this is a great opportunity for businesses to reach new customers.”

This follows a successful year of increasing connectivity on a global scale for txtNation, as the award-winning provider of mobile billing and messaging solutions has launched direct operator billing in Switzerland and Belgium as well as connecting in various countries around the world.

Contact us to find out more about mobile billing and mobile messaging and how we can benefit your business. Read more about mobile billing in South America.

Mobile Marketing and Mobile Payments 2014

Following on from last week’s review of 2013 in the mobile billing and messaging world, we take a look forward to 2014 to see what the future holds.

Statistics have shown us that more and more of us are using smartphones, and the usage of internet via handsets is growing too. If, as expected, this growth continues, then the increase in mobile shopping is likely to continue too. As solutions like Payforit in the UK and WyWallet in Sweden gain more and more trust from end-users, conversion rates for mobile payments will no doubt grow.

According to a new article in e-Marketer, businesses will need to look at response rates in the next year, as the “always–connected consumer” needs what they want, when they want it. Mobile messaging easily fills this gap, as time-sensitive communication can be delivered direct to handsets, with the option of two-way communication. Mobile Payments solve the problem of slow payment processes with credit card on mobile devices, meaning the customer can purchase on impulse, quickly and easily. As marketers have seen the need for mobile optimised websites and mobile marketing, optimising the payment process is sure to be a big discussion point next year.

txtNation in 2014
Catering to the growth in mobile payment and messaging, we are looking to make further improvements to our platform, with more cloud investment. Our MytxtNation, next generation control panel was released in beta earlier this month and we will be working on this, offering the best possible experience for our clients, with in depth tracking.

Expanding our global reach, we are looking to offer direct carrier billing in Russia in early 2014, and will be direct in Saudi Arabia, connecting with the country’s largest telco, SDC. We are looking forward to introducing new faces to our team, with more in Business Development in a number of markets, allowing us to be local where we have direct operator connectivity. Our messaging services are being bolstered with new markets and API improvements for USSD and HLR, following client feedback.

We are also adding to our support and accounts teams as our traffic volumes increase, working on our response times, with a focus on getting clients live as soon as possible.

As we gain a reputation as the strongest mobile payment solution provider for the gambling industry, we will be attending ICE Totally Gaming in London, EiG Totally Gaming in Barcelona and the Mobile and Tablet Gambling Summit in London, among other events. Having been regular attendees at Mobile World Congress and World Telemedia Event in recent years, we will be at both of these again and will be visiting China for Mobile Asia Expo and China Joy in the summer.

We will continue our push with the mobile networks in the UK to allow payments for physical products, which will offer convenience and an improved customer experience for more customers.

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

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.