A new survey from ImpulsePay has shown that carrier billing (also known as Charge to Mobile) has an immense opportunity in the UK, with merchants able to reach potentially 93% of adults versus other traditional payment options that fail to reach nearly as many potential consumers. With over 85 million active mobile subscriptions in the UK, merchants can reach considerably more consumers that can be both banked and unbanked.
Carrier billing which sees consumers charge a transaction to their mobile bill is expected to grow to £3.9 ($5.83) billion by 2017 in the U.K. and thus is an appealing checkout option to merchants, especially given that fees for mobile payments are now comparable to the fees charged for credit card or PayPal transactions.
Commenting on the survey, Paul Paterson, Commercial Director of ImpulsePay said, “The goal for Charge to Mobile has always been to reduce the rates enough in order to compete head to head with credit cards as a payment method. A great deal of work has been done by the Charge to Mobile providers and the network operators, and as a result new transaction fees of only 9.9% were introduced last year, alongside simpler payment flows.”
Alternative payment options are an increasingly popular among merchants given the chance to save on payment card fees but with interchange caps set to come into place in the coming years, acceptance of payment cards should become more affordable for merchants. While there is additional appeal for carrier billing to tap into the unbanked population, in developed markets like the UK, this population is quite small.
Overview by Tristan Hugo-Webb, Associate Director, Global Payments for Mercator Advisory Group
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