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Mopay opening up online payments via landline charging

  • By Timothy Roberts
  • Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Long ago, distance selling was nothing more than popping a cheque in an envelope and then waiting for the postman to bring you your order a few weeks later. That’s not the case now, as distance selling can be everything from picking up the phone direct to the retailer or clicking on a website to place your order.

But there is still a vital step that hasn’t changed. Money has to be transferred from the buyers account to the sellers account. The challenge of making that secure for both parties, and to give them the confidence to do so is key to any system. But more importantly the transaction needs to be fast.

Mopay reckon they have one answer that could become popular. With Mopay call, people can charge a transaction to their landline number, and play for it at as part of their phone bill, which is great for those who don’t have credit cards or bank accounts.

When using Mopay online, users will be called by Mopay at the checking out process, and once authorised, given a landline number to call. That’s the transaction over, the seller gets paid via Mopay and the buyer will pick up the tab on their next phone statement.

It’s currently in use by Travian Games in Germany, but the big challenge is going to be two-fold. The first is to get the largest market, America, to adopt the system and that’s going to need wholesale education about the landline charging method. The second is that landlines are becoming a bit of an endangered species. The natural option is to to switch to mobile, either through the same methodology of a call, or through reverse SMS (the same idea, where you are charged up to $2 per text and this is split between the network and the provider). But mobile fees can take up to 50% of the revenue. Compared to the 10% maximum the typical landline is charged, that disparity means some tough thinking will need to be done to switch to a truly mobile answer.

But it’s another option, and it’s one that doesn’t require customised hardware or the availability of a high end smartphone. That’s smart design.

More at Mopay.