Bango extends carrier billing support to Google Play
Bango is extending its operator billing platform to the Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) Play storefront, enabling consumers to charge Android applications and other premium digital content directly to their monthly wireless account.
According to Bango, consumers may now complete Google Play purchases in a single click, a process that eliminates the need for premium SMS messages or entering credit card information. Earlier this year, Bango said its payments model delivers an average purchase conversion rate of 77 percent, compared to 40 percent across rival mobile commerce solutions.
Bango is kicking off Google Play integration in partnership with Australian operator Telstra, with additional international deals soon to follow. Bango already maintains mobile billing partnerships with Facebook (NASDAQ:FB), Research In Motion's (NASDAQ:RIMM) Blackberry World and Opera Mobile Store, among others. The firm has also announced an agreement to provide payment services to Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) and offers support for MasterCard's PayPass mobile wallet.
All four major U.S. operators--Verizon Wireless (NYSE:VZ), AT&T Mobility (NYSE:T), Sprint Nextel (NYSE:S) and T-Mobile USA--offer direct carrier billing for Android app purchases from Google Play, although none of the nation's smaller regional carriers currently support the option. Consumers may also buy download premium Android apps using any credit, debit or gift card from Visa, MasterCard, American Express or Discover.
Google Play has struggled to keep pace with Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) rival iTunes Store, which includes its App Store for iPhone and iPad. For example, mobile gamers who play titles on iOS devices spend five times more than their Android counterparts, according to a study published earlier this year by market research firm Newzoo. "When analyzing Apple's successful monetization, there is one dominant factor outside of differences in audience demographics and preferences: Apple requires users to connect their credit card information directly to their [iTunes Store] account, thus creating a seamless purchase experience," explained Newzoo CEO Peter Warman.
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