DOCOMO Digital: Covid-19 has accelerated the adoption of carrier billing

A new study commissioned and sponsored by direct carrier billing firm, DOCOMO Digital, reveals that the Covid-19 pandemic expedited the shift to carrier billing across global markets, with the majority of mobile operators surveyed identifying significant market opportunities to expand into new areas. The study finds that approximately half of the respondents have or plan to implement the Direct Carrier Billing (DCB) payment method in 2021.

The research, ‘Making the case for carrier billing’, is based on a survey of leading mobile carriers conducted by the GSMA’s Mobile World Live. The 115 respondents included business leaders from leading carriers and merchants in digital health, education, and SaaS verticals.

A significant 58% of merchants will consider working with direct carrier billing specialists in 2021. Key drivers for this move are that merchants are embracing new forms of digital content along with the proliferation of new platforms in the market, resulting in a surge in the usage of DCB. By partnering with a DCB specialist, merchants can better manage their payment settlements at scale while providing a seamless and native user experience.

The study highlights that merchants believe there are several market opportunities for wallets or carrier billing for new offerings such as scooters, bike rentals, food delivery and parking services. The key benefits of introducing DCB services include enhanced revenue, providing subscribers with payment flexibility, simplifying the onboarding of new merchants and cost-effective mobile payment integration with App stores.

Research highlights
  • 40% of merchants experienced a positive outcome on their billing business due to the Covid-19 crisis
  • 58% of merchants consider working with a Direct Carrier Billing Specialist in 2021
  • 50% of merchants have launched DCB or plan to in 2021
  • 62% indicated they are willing to invest in co-marketing efforts and bundles with an operator partner, depending on the campaign
  • 37.5% expect merchants to invest in co-marketing efforts and bundles for all or most campaigns
  • Two-thirds of merchants are considering web-based payment APIs or direct DCB connections with multiple merchants beyond app stores
  • The top-three worries holding merchants back from moving to DCB are security, the perception of a low-margin opportunity and bad

The speed and convenience of being able to collect payment through DCB is a major attraction for operators’ merchant partners, as it reduces friction in the customer journey that may lead to transaction abandonment.

Jonathan Kriegel, CEO, DOCOMO Digital