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The Benefits and Pain Points of Carrier Billing

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Clemens Leitner, the CEO of DIMOCO Payments, elaborates on carrier billing and its reputation, providing insights into its main benefits and pain points based on different jurisdictions. 

Europe is a highly digitalised region, with hundreds of payment methods available to cater to a broad audience, both banked and underbanked. Where does direct carrier billing stand in the market, and how does it differ from other payment methods?

Carrier billing (CB) holds a unique position within Europe’s payment landscape. The payment method has found a niche, and it is a preferred choice for several digital transactions. It excels in facilitating microtransactions and the purchase of digital content, such as mobile apps, games, digital media, and more. It is also an inclusive way to make payments, and can be used by those who may not have access to traditional banking. For many consumers, especially those hesitant to divulge sensitive financial information online, this method offers peace of mind by reducing exposure to potential security risks.

CB’s success is down to its accessibility, ease of use, and suitability for microtransactions. It cultivates trust among consumers – and offers both banked and underbanked individuals a frictionless payment experience.

Can you provide more insights on the overall adoption of CB? What are the main benefits and pain points of it based on geographies and jurisdictions?

The adoption of CB varies across geographies and jurisdictions and is influenced by a range of factors. In regions with high mobile device penetration and a growing digital economy, CB has seen strong growth. However, a large factor for increased adoption is the awareness among mobile network operators (MNOs), merchants, and end users. For example, in Germany, Poland, and Austria, we are working with MNOs and providers to actively promote the possibility of paying via CB in their customer base – and we are seeing a larger take-up.

Within the EU, the laws are quite restrictive. MNOs are only allowed to process CB transactions if they are micropayments (under EUR 50) and for digital goods. To open CB for a wider variety of goods, we provide MNOs the option to act as a payment agent of DIMOCO Payments, as a licenced payment service company.

Overall, the level of adoption and the perceived benefits and pain points of carrier billing can vary widely based on the specific context of each region and the existing mobile payment ecosystem. We provide guidance to find the right CB strategy that maximises revenue and reduces complexity.

How do DIMOCO Payments’ core solutions differ from other similar players in the field, and can you please share more about your Mobile Identity Services

Many in the industry are unaware or not up to date with the recent changes in CB and how it has become a competitive payment method in the crowded marketplace. Its potential, when harnessed correctly, is huge. What makes our solution unique is our strong understanding of its capabilities and our close partnerships with MNOs. 

We created a solution to navigate the strict EU regulations regarding CB. The MNOs act as our agents, meaning users can purchase – at our partner merchants – physical goods and services instead of being restricted to digital materials. In Germany, we worked with the MNOs to establish Zahl einfach per Handyrechnung. Under this brand and with DIMOCO Payments’ payment licence, the largest German MNOs allow users to make day-to-day purchases. It is currently in operation with bike rental centres, vending machines, EV charging stations, public transport, and more. We use this model throughout the EU to facilitate payments and widen the scope of CB payments. 

Our ties with MNOs allow us to explore other avenues. Mobile phone numbers are the most omnipresent, reliable, and long-lived identifiers of the digital age – they are the ideal digital identity of the mobile world. Mobile phone numbers exist only once, are tied to one person, and are network-based. The MNOs have a pool of this unique and non-manipulable data. We are working with them so that this information can be used for authentication and identification purposes. 

For example, with the data from the MNOs, we can tackle SIM swapping. This occurs when fraudsters take control of a SIM card using stolen personal data through social engineering techniques. The service provider (merchant) receives information on the last SIM change for a mobile phone number – and so, an indication of whether the SIM card has been swapped. This enables the setup of configurable risk tolerances to avoid any fraudulent transactions (independently of their business nature). 

Our Mobile Identity Services, which also include KYC match and phone number verification, born from our strong ties to the network operators, will be used to provide seamless authentication and verification. They can be used on their own or as part of a payment to help mitigate fraud through unique risk assessment and management, all the while enabling a better user experience. 

Finally, how do you see the future of carrier billing? Can the model be spread to include paying for physical goods and services too? 

As smartphone adoption continues to grow, this payment method becomes even more relevant. It is a straightforward and secure means of conducting financial transactions. It aligns with the cashless trend, enabling individuals to access digital goods and services, pay bills, and make small purchases conveniently. As long as mobile phones remain prevalent and mobile carriers continue to support this payment method, CB is likely to play a vital role in the digital economy. 

The expansion of CB to include payments for physical goods and services is already on the way. As technology and infrastructure continue to advance, CB could become a viable option for a broader range of transactions. However, several challenges must be addressed, including ensuring security, fraud prevention, and regulatory compliance when handling larger, more complex transactions. Collaboration between mobile carriers, merchants, and payment service providers will be crucial. 

The success of this expansion hinges on several factors: increased transaction limits, seamless integration with point-of-sale systems, and user education. Regardless, it holds the potential to simplify payments further for consumers and offer a viable alternative to traditional payment methods.

This editorial piece was first published in the Paypers Payment Methods Report 2023, which provides an in-depth overview of the latest worldwide developments in how people pay, the payment methods space, the innovative technologies that these methods work upon, and the best strategies on how to win at conversion and retention.

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Personal Data Policy Table of Contents for the Career Portal

1. General information

The DIMOCO Careers Portal is a platform that is designed to centralize and manage job applications made by applicants for positons within DIMOCO, and is operated by DIMOCO Payments GmbH, a company incorporated under 199901 y of the company register of the Regional Court of Wiener Neustadt, Austria, having its registered offices at Campus 21, Europaring F15/302, A-2345 Brunn am Gebirge, Austria. As such, DIMOCO Payments GmbH is to be seen as being the controller of the data.

For the purposes of this Policy:

  • any reference to “You” or “Your” shall mean the job applicant.
  • any reference to “DIMOCO” , “We” , “Us” or “Our” shall mean the entities of the DIMOCO group of companies, in particular, but not limited to:
  • DIMOCO Payments GmbH
  • DINAPE Solutions GmbH

2. What Data Will Be Processed?

During the application process, We will store and process the relevant information (including personal data) provided by You in Your application to DIMOCO, including particularly, but not necessarily limited to, Your gender, academic title, first name, surname, date of birth, address, citizenship, phone number, e-mail address and possession of a valid work permit in Austria as well as other data included in documents You chose to upload to the DIMOCO Careers Portal, such as CVs or recommendation letters, etc. We do not at any stage of the application process request that You provide Us with any sensitive personal data (e.g. information on racial or ethnic origin, political opinions, religious or philosophical beliefs, trade union membership, genetic or biometric data, as well as data concerning a natural person’s sex life or sexual orientation). Should You, however, proactively disclose any sensitive personal data to Us in Your application (e.g. in Your curriculum vitae), please be advised that We will consider this as You giving Us Your express consent to store and process such data in accordance with this Policy and applicable laws.

3. What is the Purpose of the Data Processing?

We process the data made available by You for the sole purpose of carrying out the application process, and in particular to assess Your application and contact You in connection with Your job application, and if applicable, future job openings at DIMOCO (the “Purpose”).

4. How the Data Will Be Processed?

The data You provide Us will be kept confidential and will be processed with due care, appropriately and in a way adequate and relevant to the Purpose expressly stated in this Policy. The data will be processed in compliance with applicable laws, in particular the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) of the EU as well as with the relevant provisions of the Austrian national law. The confidentiality and security of Your data is secured by appropriate technological and organizational means.

 

Each time You access the website of the DIMOCO group of companies (and by extension the DIMOCO Careers Portal), a so-called log file that records Your activity on the DIMOCO website will be created. This log file can collect information on the name of the webpage(s) You accessed, the date and time of Your request, the type and version of Your browser, Your operating system, the URL-address that directed You to the DIMOCO website and Your IP address. We use these files in order to protect the DIMOCO website against unlawful and criminal attacks. Furthermore, may We use these files to gather statistical data in order to optimize functionality of the DIMOCO website. The information gathered by the log-files is not at any point used in a way that could allow an identification of specific users.

 

The website of the DIMOCO group of companies (and by extension the DIMOCO Careers Portal) also uses small text files (cookies) that enable the storage of device-specific information on the system on Your PC, laptop, tablet, mobile phone, etc. Cookies do not cause any damage to Your device and do not contain or store any personal data (e.g. name, e-mail, phone number, etc.). Some cookies are saved on Your device and stay there until manually deleted. The cookies are used in order to recognize Your browser next time You visit the DIMOCO website as well as to optimize its functionality.

 

Please note that You can change the preference of Your browser at any time, such that You are informed in case that cookies are being used and have the possibility to allow the use thereof on a case-to-case basis. Please be advised that the deactivation of cookies could limit the functionality of the DIMOCO website.

5. Who Has Access to Your Data

No personal data You provide Us will be made available or transmitted to any third party without Your express permission. Access to the data provided by You will only be granted to authorized personnel of DIMOCO, particularly the HR department of DIMOCO Payments GmbH and the relevant DIMOCO managers responsible for the particular job vacancy You have applied and/or are being considered for.

6. The legal basis of processing and Your Permission and Rights

The processing of Your data for the Purpose is based on Your voluntary permission given expressly in the application process (Article 6 para 1 lit a GDPR). We are not permitted to and shall not process any of Your personal data without Your consent.

 

Even though the provision of certain information in the application process is stated as being “mandatory”, please note that You are by no means under any legal obligation to disclose such information to Us. Please be advised, however, that the non-provision of the information stated as being “mandatory” could have the result that We will not be able to consider or process Your application.

 

We are required to keep Your personal data for a period of 6 (six) months following the end of the application process. All of Your personal data will be erased automatically thereafter, unless You gave Us the right to store and process Your personal data for a period of up to 1 (one) year so that You can be considered for future job opportunities at DIMOCO. In this latter case, all Your personal data will be automatically erased after the lapse of the 1 (one) year period.

 

You should know that You have the following rights with respect to the information (including personal data) that You provide Us:

 

  • You have the right to limit or withdraw the consent You gave Us to process Your data and/or request the deletion thereof. If You should choose to limit the consent You originally gave Us, then We will act in accordance with Your instructions. If, however, You should choose to withdraw Your consent entirely, We will cease to process Your data immediately and will delete Your data accordingly. Please be advised that the limitation/withdrawal of Your consent or the request for the deletion thereof may automatically suspend any application process that has already started.

 

  • You have the right to request Us to inform You about the personal data We have stored about You.

 

  • You have the right to request Us to amend any incorrect data that We have stored about You.

 

  • You have the right to data portability, which means that upon request, We will transfer Your data to a third party that You nominate.

 

  • You have the right to lodge a complaint to the Austrian Data Protection Authority (Datenschutzbehörde) in the event that You are of the opinion that a breach of data security has occurred.

 

You can exercise the aforementioned rights at any time.

 

If You have any questions about Our data security or Your application, please do not hesitate to contact Us:

 

DIMOCO Payments GmbH

DIMOCO Human Resources Department

Campus 21, Europaring F15/302

2345 Brunn am Gebirge, Austria

E-mail: careers@dimoco.eu

Telephone: +43 1 33 66 888 – 0