The idea of buying apps and games through your cell phone carrier is not new on mobile, but it is a novel idea for those on desktops, laptops, and tablets. Today, Microsoft is officially partnering up with Boku to bring carrier billing to Windows 10 proper with direct integration in the Windows Store.
The partnership is kicking off with Sprint and Swisscom although more carriers are arriving "in the coming months". With the option enabled, users can buy movies, music, games, apps and more on any Windows 10 device and have it billed directly to their phone bill instead of using a credit card.
Evidently, Boku is one of the biggest carrier partners in the world boasting "more than 260 carrier connections, reaching 4 billion mobile subscribers worldwide." Carrier billing is especially a big deal for emerging markets where access to credit is difficult to attain. According to Microsoft, carrier billing has resulted in an "8x lift" in purchases for emerging markets making this feature very important for Windows Store growth.
In a quote from Boku CEO, Jon Prideaux:
"What's worth highlighting about this particular implementation is that carrier billing will be offered across all Windows 10 devices, not just the mobile phone. This is consistent with the way in which we consume digital content today and proof that carrier billing is hardly just a payment method for on-mobile purchases. Its convenience, security, and ubiquity make it a great general-purpose alternative payment in any setting."
The feature should be rolling out today and we look forward to announcing more carriers in the coming months for users who look to utilize this payment options. See the presser below for more information and let us know in comments if you'd use such an option.
Boku Launches Carrier Billing for the new Windows Store
Windows 10 customers can now use their mobile phone bill to pay for apps, games, music, and more on the new Windows Store
December 10, 2015 – San Francisco, CA – Boku announced an expanded agreement this morning with Microsoft Corp., bringing Boku® direct carrier billing to the new Windows Store for the first time. As part of the new integration with Boku, consumers will be able to use their mobile phone number to add their mobile operator account as a payment option when making purchases of applicable content in the Windows Store. This is the first time carrier billing will be offered as a payment option to the full range of Windows devices, including mobile phones, tablets, PCs, or laptops. Starting today, carrier billing will be available to mobile subscribers on carriers in the United States, with further expansion underway.
"Microsoft is a great example of a company that has always understood the value of carrier billing and, with the new Windows Store, they are creating a tremendous opportunity for developers and consumers alike," said Jon Prideaux, CEO of Boku. "What's worth highlighting about this particular implementation is that carrier billing will be offered across all Windows 10 devices, not just the mobile phone. This is consistent with the way in which we consume digital content today and proof that carrier billing is hardly just a payment method for on-mobile purchases. Its convenience, security, and ubiquity make it a great general-purpose alternative payment in any setting."
According to data released by Microsoft, Windows Phone carrier billing contributes, on average, an 8x lift in purchase rates in emerging markets and 3x in developed markets. Over 60% of Windows Phone Store monthly paid users originated from carrier billing. This new alliance will extend this capability to all Windows 10 devices.
In the Windows Store, Microsoft customers can easily and quickly designate payment through a carrier by using the payment instrument system in the Windows Store. Once initialized, customers are able to charge app and digital content purchases directly to their mobile operator account.
"The Windows Store is designed to be a one-stop shopping experience for free and paid digital content. We believe offering carrier billing is important to giving consumers a convenient payment method and driving developer monetization," said Todd Brix, Windows Store General Manger. "We decided to work with Boku because of its team, technology, and carrier relationships."
Boku, the leading direct carrier billing mobile payments company, reaches more than 4 billion consumers in more than 70 countries. Its bank-grade payments technology allows consumers to charge purchases to their mobile phone bill. Boku partners with global merchants including Facebook, Sony, Spotify, Electronic Arts, Wargaming, and many more. Based in San Francisco with offices in Europe, Latin America, and Asia, Boku is funded by leading Silicon Valley entrepreneurs and venture capitalists including Andreessen Horowitz, Benchmark Capital, DAG Ventures, Index Ventures, Khosla Ventures, and NEA.