Comments on Bango’s Amazon announcement earlier today.
Investors have been in touch with Bango this week to ask for more details about the announcement that we’re working with Amazon on launching carrier billing for the Amazon App Store.
First clarification – Bango carrier billing is now LIVE for some Amazon customers in Germany. This comes from the work Bango has been doing with Amazon in the nearly 3 years since the December 2011 announcement of an agreement. Some Telefonica O2 customers in Germany now have a “click to pay” option which will charge a purchase from the Amazon App Store to their phone bill. The Bango Platform is being used by Amazon to process these payments.
Secondly – we have released this investor update to ensure that all investors could become aware of this significant milestone. An increasing number of people were starting to see the charge to bill capability, the first time it has been offered by Amazon, and we anticipated that screenshots and other information would very soon get into the public domain.
We don’t comment on our partners’ business plans, our role is to provide the technology that enables carrier-billed payments to be delivered on a global scale, with the quality of user experience that Amazon customers – for example – have come to expect. This is why our update this week did not include any further commentary about Amazon’s plans for carrier billing.
Bango is now providing carrier billing to Google, Amazon, Microsoft, BlackBerry, Samsung, Mozilla and others. This is significant for the total value of the “app economy” particularly in the Android smartphone world where Bango powers the platform provider (Google), the leading smartphone maker (Samsung) and now the first entry by the global giant in internet retailing (Amazon).
Bango is pleased to announce that it is working with Amazon and Telefónica Deutschland for carrier billing services on Telefónica’s network in Germany. The service will be deployed gradually through next year on certain Amazon mobile applications running on Telefónica devices in Germany.
In December 2011, Bango announced that it was working with Amazon Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) to provide mobile payment services.
Read full announcement
Bango today hosted a teach-in for institutional investors at Cenkos Securities in London. The presentation, which provides an overview of the advantages of Direct Operator Billing and the cycle of integrating app store and MNOs with the Bango Platform, can be viewed here.
Google Play operator billing now live across Bell, Rogers and Telus
Bango announces that its platform is now powering Direct Operator Billing (DOB) for Google Play across the three main Canadian operators. Subscribers to the Bell, Rogers and Telus networks – which account for over 95% of all Canadian smartphone users – can now pay for content and services in Google’s app store directly through their pre and postpaid mobile accounts. Continue reading
Bango made an exciting announcement today: We’ve signed an agreement with Etisalat, to deploy Direct Operator Billing across the group’s markets in Asia, the Middle East and Africa. The established partnership between Bango and Etisalat has already seen DOB launched for users of BlackBerry World. This new agreement will deliver further app store integrations, beginning today with Google Play.
The agreement is important on a number of levels:
- The Middle East is an emerging and strategically valuable market. Device numbers across the region are expected to almost double this year, from 67 million in 2013 to 112.2 million in 2014 (IDC). These new smartphone consumers are young – 44% of the population is under 20 years old – and hungry for apps, music, games and other digital content. Content consumption and ARPU are both high. But this is a region in which some of the traditional online payment giants have struggled. What’s changing now is that Direct Operator Billing, which piggy-backs on the mass market of phone and phone bill rather than credit card, is proving to be an ideal enabler for mobile commerce.
- This is another example of how mobile network operator groups are standardizing on the Bango Payment Platform as “the gold standard” for payment from mobile devices. By plugging into Bango, these operators achieve an unrivalled speed to revenue, and access Bango’s range of human and infrastructure resources which deliver continuous availability. Bango is now established as the de facto leader in operator billing for app stores, partnering with Amazon, Google Play, BlackBerry World, Windows Phone Store and others, bringing one-click payment to hundreds of millions of consumers. Significantly, Bango’s market hardened platform is the result of more than 500 man years and sees continuous innovation. Initiatives by single operator groups to build similar solutions have tended to be complex, costly and time-consuming. Now the large operator groups are starting to choose Bango.
- This agreement shows how operators can effectively harness their network assets through selective partnerships. Many mobile network operators had their fingers burned in the early years of digital content. By opening up their networks to a wide range of low quality Premium SMS aggregators they were able to secure some revenue from digital content sales, but at the cost of unreliable connections, a poor consumer experience and occasional fraud from “mobile cramming”. The situation today is much healthier, as operators reject Premium SMS and instead focus on robust, “genuine” operator billing that uses direct API connections to place a charge on a phone bill. In this world, instead of taking a card number and billing through a card processor, Bango uses a phone number and processes the charge through the customer’s phone bill. Just as a few card processors deliver this first generation on-line payment service, in the mass market world of smart phones a specialist like Bango is able to deliver the technology, scale and cost efficiencies to enable mobile app stores to leverage carrier billed payments globally.
As the smartphone base in the Middle East continues to grow, Bango will reach an ever-widening pool of consumers for one-click payment. This partnership with Etisalat will see further app store integrations in the months to come, and we’re proud to say that we now have more than 130 direct operator connections in place globally.
Bango, will hold its Annual General Meeting at 2pm today, 28 May 2014, at Bango’s headquarters at 5 Westbrook Centre, Milton Road, Cambridge, CB4 1YG. At the AGM Ray Anderson, CEO of Bango, will provide the following update:
Expansion of commercial partnerships with MNOs
At the time of the Group’s 2013 full year results in March 2014 Bango announced an excellent start to the current year. Bango is pleased with the continued progress of the business, key customers and with Mobile Network Operators (MNOs).
Bango has signed agreements to provide mobile payments for the majority of the world’s leading app stores, including BlackBerry World, Google Play, Windows Phone Store, Firefox Marketplace, Amazon and Facebook. Bango’s focus is now on increasing the number of MNOs integrated into the Bango Platform for operator billing, so that its app store partners can bill more of their customers through Bango’s expanding global network. Bango has made significant progress with a number of Google Play and other integrations and will update the market further when appropriate.
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