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Digital natives – that generation raised on technology –  feast on more online content today than ever before. This key demographic is no longer tied to traditional media, such as TV and PCs to entertain themselves, and, as a result, these young consumers don’t organize their lives around those devices. Instead, this is a generation that seeks to embrace solutions that manage as many day-to-day activities as possible on the go.

And, most notably, through almost constant access to their mobiles devices, they are focusing on services designed to make lives easier in real time – a desire that is increasingly facilitated by the convenience of carrier billing’s simple one-click (trans-)action. And this is why Direct Carrier Billing is a huge and often untapped opportunity.

Young Consumers – The Direct Carrier Billing

One of the key drivers for direct carrier billing is evidence of still-increasing smartphone adoption levels amongst the teenage demographic. While more content is being developed to cater to this target group, the fact that they are legally excluded from card ownership in nearly all markets means the acquisition of paid content via credit card billing is beyond them. Direct carrier billing eliminates the need for a credit card, enabling businesses to bill across a far wider and diverse user base. This notably includes tapping into the market of young users by developing more billable content targeted at them, where previously such content may have been monetized by advertising alone. As long as a person has a device connected to a network, direct carrier billing is a method that can be used for just about anything available for digital purchase. Direct carrier billing, like other payment options, can also be used whenever needed, 24-hours-a-day, 7-days-a-week, meaning it fits into a young, spontaneous and carefree lifestyle. The unique upside with carrier billing is there’s no need to insert complicated long digit codes or to do pre-registrations. Direct carrier billing stands out because it’s tremendously user-friendly.

Wherever you are - mobile, tablet, laptop, PC or TV

Beyond being an anytime service, direct carrier billing also has the advantage of being a digitally anywhere option. It can be used on multiple devices. Whether you’re at home or on the go, goods and services can be purchased on any accessible authorize smartphone, tablet, PC or other appropriate devices.

One click and the payment is done

Every consumer, especially the younger generations, like millennials who have practically grown up with a mobile in their hand, like to do things in easiest way possible. Direct carrier billing’s one-click option satisfies this desire. Because of the trusted billing relationship at the core of carrier billing, smartphone users can, in most countries and on many different network operators, purchase digital content and services with just a simple, single touch. This caters to the need of tech-savvy young consumers who are online almost constantly and to whom the quick and easy solution through a mobile channel’s one-click payment option appeals.

What categories will drive digital content consumption next year?

Sectors such as gaming and mobile & online ticketing are on the rise and will be continuing to do so in 2017. Generation Y stands out as a clearly distinguished key target group and key driver for these industries.

 Gaming & Video on Demand

The Gaming sector (already over 90 percent of PC games revenues are now derived from digital sales) is seeing a faster-than-anticipated migration from physical to digital format. It will continue to account for the largest share of carrier billing digital content consumption in 2017, while there is also significant (and increasing) shift from handheld games to those on smartphones and tablets.

Video on Demand (VoD) is also experiencing significant growth with consumers taking advantage of real-time acquisition and consumption of their entertainment whenever and wherever they are. Furthermore, social games continue to increase in popularity, underpinned by the success of free-to-play slots and casino-type games. There has also been an acceleration in the deployments of streamed video services across Europe, which, combined with the rise in downloadable film and TV content from a variety of storefronts and websites, means that we have significantly adjusted up our video forecasts toward the end of the forecast period.

Mobile & Online Ticketing

Statistics show a steady trend toward fewer urban millennials and post-millennials in the US and Europe owning cars, which means an increased need for public transportation. We believe that the average cost of air and train tickets will preclude these services from being offered via carrier billing (the average cost for a plane ticket was $243 in 2015), but for local bus and light rail options carrier billing could be ideal as an alternative to entering card details online.

This market is developing rapidly. In Europe, for example, Juniper Research estimates the amount spend on European metro tickets purchased via mobile will rise from $1.39 billion in 2015 to nearly $399 billion in 2020 there is a huge opportunity to tap into this market.

Considering text messages have been a popular mechanism for billing mobile tickets for nearly a decade, this is fertile ground for direct carrier billing.

In addition, the emergence of an app-based approach provides ample scope for using carrier billing in the context of a richer, more attractive and intuitive ticket discovery and purchase experience.

We would argue that this will particularly be the case for tickets purchased prior to travel, with contactless payment becoming a core mechanism for POS (point of sale).