The global carrier billing market is expected to grow by 54% to 2026, with payments from mobile bundling* growing the fastest (Omdia). There are various factors accelerating the growth of mobile bundling. Omdia cites 3 key drivers:
- The rollout of 5G: means third-party services like video/music/live sports streaming and cloud gaming are more accessible to consumers via a mobile phone, making them a natural partner for telcos.
- Effective route to market: in an environment where consumer spend is under pressure, merchants are increasingly looking for new ways to reach consumers. Mobile bundling not only provides a trusted billing relationship and a way to reach millions of consumers, the telco actively advertises these services to their customers. Bundling gives merchants a quick and cost-effective way to penetrate new geographies and new user segments.
- Differentiation: unlimited minutes, texts or even data bundles are no longer the draw they once were. So how does a telco stand out from the crowd? Thankfully, merchants like Netflix, Disney, Spotify, Microsoft Xbox etc are continuously producing interesting new content that entices customers. Bundling these services with the telco’s own first-party service is a way to draw customers in, especially when often the telco can offer these services on a free trial or discounted basis.
The rationale for both parties to bundle their services is clear. So, what factors could inhibit growth in this market? Omdia has provided a few of these:
- Integration headaches: many carriers have process-heavy integration methods that are slow and resource intensive for both them and their OTT merchant partners
- Carrier limitations: in addition to the difficulty integrating effectively with merchants, carriers may not know how best to promote OTT service bundles
- Commercial complexities: it often takes time for merchants and telcos to agree terms
- Elusive KPIs: it can be tricky for carriers to get the data to judge the effectiveness of bundles
- Scalping fees: some carriers want user acquisition fees from OTTs without the complexity of enabling DCB
These are problems for both carriers and merchants, representing inhibitors for the growth potential of this business. However, they also represent a strong case for partnering with Bango.
Bango focuses on making the complex simple, something which means we help our partners avoid most of these issues. Let’s analyze the list of inhibitors:
- Integration headaches: This is a big win for merchants and their partners. Integrating with Bango avoids process-heavy carrier integrations. Merchants integrate once to the Bango Platform and immediately have access to all the other telcos connected to Bango. No need for individual connections – quick, simple and market proven
- Carrier shortcomings: Using the data insights generated by the Platform, Bango can advise telco partners on how best to promote bundled services; which offers to promote to which customers, even down to optimizing campaign performance, for example which imagery to use.
- Commercial complexities: in some cases, Bango has pre-agreed terms with merchants, meaning there are no commercial negotiations to take place. Carriers connected to the Platform can go live with new offers as they wish.
- Elusive KPIs: Using Bango data insights, we can immediately show the effectiveness of bundled offers and the way it impacts customer acquisition and retention. We can even provide insight on how to enhance customer acquisition and retention further.
- Scalping fees: Bango makes charge to bill payment (such as mobile direct carrier billing) simple, as part of the Bango Resale & Bundling Platform product functionality. Telco partners can therefore enable charge to bill for their merchant partners with no additional effort, maximizing the commercial opportunity from bundling arrangements.
Hundreds of merchants and telcos use the Bango Platform to power their bundles for precisely these reasons. Increasing numbers of merchants are monetizing their products and services via subscription which opens-up a much larger, addressable market. The more subscription services there are, the greater the benefit from partnering with a bundling and resale Platform like Bango, providing immediate access with one simple integration, and much higher returns from bundled offers.
*Mobile bundling, a subsector of the carrier billing market, is bundling a third-party subscription to a telco bill specifically. Bango powers bundles to various types of bill but mobile bundling is the most common type of subscription bundling.