Auckland-based user-pays mobile interactive products and services specialists Lateral has announced two key partner agreements to boost growth capability across multiple global markets.
Today, the company signed a carrier billing agreement with Bango in order to launch its services in the UK, allowing Lateral to bill customers for its premium social and interactive services on all major mobile phone companies in the UK, including O2, Vodafone, EE, T-Mobile, 3 and Orange.
As a result, the deal gives Lateral access to over 70 million mobile subscribers in the UK while also providing billing connections into wider markets, leveraging on Bango’s global billing foot print.
Bango is the global leader in Direct Carrier Billing (DCB), and the payment platform behind the world’s largest app stores and mobile brands.
DCB enables consumers to charge the cost of digital purchases to their mobile bill in one click, without the need for credit/debit cards or to register personal details.
Using DCB Lateral sells mobile web applications directly to end-users through its Viaduct platform, and bills the purchase to the customer’s mobile phone account.
The technical integration with Bango has been proceeding for several months in the lead up to today’s launch with Lateral intending to start marketing products into the UK in April via agreements with several specialist mobile advertisers including InMobi, Mobi-Force, MobPartner and SponsorMob.
“Bango has built a mobile payment platform that’s fuelling the global growth in digital content sales,” says Roger Grice, CEO, Lateral.
“Their platform is being used by the giants of mobile including Amazon, Samsung, and Google. We’re thrilled to be plugging into this platform to take maximum advantage of the new and fast-growing carrier billing market to promote our content and services.
“Selling mobile web applications via Direct Marketing and using embedded DCB will be a massive area of growth on the global mobile stage.”
According to Grice, industry analysts have predicted that this market will grow from an embryonic state to a US$12 billion industry by 2017.
“We are one of a handful of companies at the forefront of this technology which, due to its technical and operational complexity plus the high level of industry compliance, has created a significant barrier to entry for new players,” he adds.
Echoing Grice’s comments, Richard Leyland, Bango’s VP Marketing, believes Direct Carrier Billing is the payment mechanism that “supercharges” digital sales.
“Merchants of all sizes are racing to embrace the technology in order to offer their customers a frictionless, one-click payment experience on their smartphone,” he adds.
“Bango’s focus is on providing carrier billing on a massive scale to global app stores, but from time to time we partner with specialist digital merchants that lead in their field. We’re excited to be working with Lateral as they bring their engaging mobile content to the UK and beyond.”
Further to the deal, the company has also developed integration with the InMobi global advertising platform.
Given Lateral is a digital merchant selling mobile web applications directly to end-users through its Viaduct platform, billing the purchase directly to the customer’s mobile phone account, Grice says the agreement and technical integration with InMobi enables specific targeting of mobile customers, providing real-time optimisation of the cost of subscriber acquisition.
“The key to growth of our subscription base is our ability to target potential customers, using real time data at any given time and place,” he adds.
“The integration with InMobi relies on data shared between InMobi and Lateral, targeting users and creating optimal conditions for a sale. The sale is carried out using Direct Carrier Billing (DCB), embedded into the signup pages of whatever application Lateral is selling.
“Selling mobile web applications via highly targeted marketing campaigns and using embedded DCB will be a massive area of growth on the global mobile stage.”
Lateral’s suite of cloud-based interactive applications is charged to customers’ mobile phone accounts and is used by media companies and mobile phone companies to generate additional revenue.
Well known for providing the paid voting services for virtually all New Zealand’s interactive TV events such as NZ’s Got Talent, Lateral also delivers complex and engaging paid social interaction and entertainment products and services across multiple regions, including Australia, North America, UK and New Zealand.
With its head office in Auckland, and offices in San Francisco, Lateral has services running in Australia, New Zealand, North America and the UK.