Social network hi5 has struck a deal with mobile payments outfit Paymo that will enable members to use their handsets to buy the site's virtual currency, which can then be used to pay for gifts and content.
To make a purchase using Paymo, members enter their mobile phone number on the firm's site and reply to a text message. The charges appear on the customer's monthly phone bill or are deducted from their pre-paid balance.
Members don't need a credit card or bank account to use the Paymo system. The company says over 75% of the online community worldwide does not have a credit card but three billion people own a mobile phone.
The option is now being rolled out to hi5 users in 24 countries, including the US, Canada, France, Hong Kong, Thailand, Russia and Colombia, enabling them to buy virtual gifts.
Paul McGuire, founder and CEO, Paymo, says: "For partners like hi5 we enable monetisation of millions of new consumers who either don't have a credit card or a bank account or simply prefer the convenience of paying with their mobile phone."
The move comes as Paymo adds the top US mobile carriers, including AT&T, T-Mobile and Virgin Mobile, to its network, extending its reach to 45 markets and one billion consumers.