OpenMarket Throws Support to UK Mobile Billing Standard

Payforit 4 benefits U.K. consumers and merchants with swift, secure and intuitive mobile payments across device types

By James Wester, Mobile Payments Today

OpenMarket, a provider of mobile messaging and mobile payment solutions, said it is throwing its weight behind the new Payforit 4 mobile payment standard in the U.K. The company said that digital merchants in the U.K. that use mobile billing to charge for goods and services must prepare for when Payforit 4 becomes standard for mobile payments.

Payforit 4 is a payment scheme for mobile micropayments and is aimed at making purchases under £10 ($16). The standard dictates how consumers can pay for digital goods and services by placing the charges on their mobile phone accounts. It’s supported by the mobile network operators in the U.K., and the MNOs will begin to mandate Payforit 4 as the industry standard beginning Sept. 1.

“[Payforit 4] allows merchants, content providers and developers to monetize their products and services to the entire U.K. consumer market via the mobile channel,” said Adrian Sarosi, director of sales and marketing for OpenMarket, in a statement. “Merchants must act now to assure the future of any existing services as the mandates come in to place.”

Like direct carrier billing in other countries, Payforit 4 gives consumers without a credit card or bank account the ability to make electronic transactions by leveraging their mobile phones accounts. That’s appealing to services aimed at the unbanked or younger consumers, such as gaming and social media sites. Payforit 4 is even available to consumers using either pre- or post-paid mobile accounts.

Payforit 4 allows consumers and merchants alike in the U.K. to benefit from swift, secure and easy-to-use mobile payments across an array of devices like feature phones and other Web-connected devices, said Danny Barclay, head of interactive sales for U.K. carrier O2.

“We believe that as digital merchants transition we will see an uptake in Payforit services as consumers warm to the better experience,” Barclay said.