When optimising payment flows for the mobile web (and WAP), it is important to find the right option for your online business. Some flows work well for certain businesses but not others, so in this article, we will take a look at a number of different mobile billing options and analyse the pros and cons as well as the customer experience.

Mobile operator billing offers clear benefits in terms of conversion rates, but by choosing the right type for your business, you can increase billing uptake even more.

Direct Operator Billing
Also known as Direct Carrier Billing, this offers a quick and easy payment flow for the end-user. This involves the user entering their mobile phone number, and straight away, being charged to their bill or pre-paid credit. It is, however, not available in every country due to network restrictions or non-implantation. DOB typically involves PIN (OTP) authentication to validate the customers MSISDN.

Single Click Mobile PaymentsMSISDN Flow (Header Enrichment)
With MSDISN Forwarding (or MSISDN capture) the user doesn’t need to enter their mobile number as it is already detected. They can simply click to purchase. This only works when the user is using their mobile internet on networks that facilitate this enrichment. This is also referred to as WAP Billing.

USSD Messaging (Flash SMS) for OTP delivery
In this flow, the user enters their phone number, receives a message and enters the PIN (OTP) to complete the purchase.

When direct operator billing or MSDISN Forwarding isn’t available (supported by a mobile network), you may not want to push your users away from your mobile page or mobile app to read an SMS message with the OTP.

USSD for Mobile Payments

By using a USSD flow, the user can receive a USSD (FLASH SMS) notification, which shows up over the top of the mobile webpage or app, with a short, OTP (One Time Password) or PIN. They can then enter that to complete the transaction.  Not exiting the session (mobile web page or app).

Read more on USSD Messaging.

In some markets like India, USSD is used as a primary mechanism to deliver an OTP to a mobile customer. It comes into its own in markets where no MSISDN forwarding or direct billing is available.

Read more about our USSD Gateway.

Use of USSD enables increased transactions by keeping the user from exiting the session, whether it be on mobile web (WAP) or mobile app. This, as an alternative to using SMS as the primary delivery option for the OTP, reduces the amount of work done by the end-user, resulting in more completed transactions.

It is possible to successfully use USSD to deliver an OTP when MT (Mobile Terminated) Billing is available and Pure Direct Billing is not supported by a network directly.

Tip! We recommend sending an SMS at the same time as sending the USSD Flash message for record keeping and audit purposes (USSD messages do not get saved on the handset like SMS).

This Billing type with USSD hybrid to deliver an OTP is available  in the following markets:

Hong Kong
United Kingdom

Contact us to discuss how your business can benefit from mobile billing with USSD notifications.

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