US payments provider Boku has launched its direct carrier billing service with French mobile operators SFR and Bouygues Telecom. The same service is already available to subscribers of the country’s market leader Orange. It enables subscribers to add the purchase of digital goods and services to their mobile bills. Boku’s service with SFR and Bouygues Telecom is called Internet + Mobile and is available for the purchase of goods and services with a value of up to Euro10. “Nearly all mobile users in France” can now access the company’s service, it says. Through the relationship with Orange, France is already one of Boku’s top ten markets, says CEO Mark Britto (pictured). The addition to two more operators “will undoubtedly keep them in that category and growing fast,” he said.
Payment providers such as Boku have in the past paid substantial processing fees to operators for handling their payments. Striking a direct relationship with mobile operators for carrier billing is a way to avoid operators’ processing fees. Boku did not reveal the terms for its new arrangement in France but, according to Techcrunch, they are “similar to” those negotiated with operators in the US and Germany. In the absence of a direct relationship, operators charge 30 percent to 40 percent of the value of the transaction for processing, says the publication.