Network infrastructure giant Ericsson announced its In Application Payment Service, which allows mobile users to make purchases within apps and mobile games.
The technology is based on the company’s Internet Payment Exchange (IPX) platform, which is integrated with more than 120 operators and provides delivery, charging (through direct billing), premium SMS, web and online mobile payment functionality.
The technology also allows users to make purchases without the need to enter credit card details, through the use of direct operator billing. Ericsson says simplifying the buying process means more users will make purchases using their mobile devices.
Research by Ovum – and cited by Ericsson – forecasts that revenue from paid mobile apps will hit US$3.7 billion in 2011, increasing to US$7.7 billion by 2016. “In order to reach these kinds of numbers it’s got to be easy for the consumer,” Adam Kerr, head of Ericsson’s M Commerce business, said.
Ericsson is providing “wrapper technology” and an SDK for developers to integrate the In Application Payment Service – and the various payment methods – into their apps. The service also adjusts to different technical payment approaches used by mobile operators around the world.
The technology also opens up a range of payment models, according to Ericsson, including try-before-you-buy, rental and subscription. A virtual currency can be used for very small payments while the approach also means retailers can quickly change prices to respond to market changes.
Frost & Sullivan global program director for ICT (Smart Cards) Jean-Noel Georges said that although similar technology is available for other platforms, Ericsson differs in that it is “providing a range of payment solutions for better end-user consumer experience across several countries,” with the ability to use different payment models for a range of needs.
He added that the ability to use virtual money with the technology means it is “able to capture all kind of possible revenues.”