With a European e-money license under its belt, carrier billing outfit Boku is partnering with three of the UK's leading wireless operators to expand into the fully-regulated mobile payments market.
Boku is partnering with O2, EE, and Vodafone in the UK to extend its carrier billing platform to cover payments for physical goods and services. The firm says it has signed up a number of merchant partners selling magazines and bus tickets to the venture.
To use the service, customers need only enter their mobile phone number at the merchant storefront to have the purchase pegged to their phone bill.
"Up to now buying stuff and charging it to your phone bill has been restricted, limited to digital goods and operating in a regulatory framework designed years ago to handle ringtone downloads," says Jon Prideaux, CEO of Boku. "We are now entering a new era for carrier billing. Boku has re-invented carrier billing as a mainstream payment method."
Under the initiative, the partner MNOs will be able to offer a more rounded and extensive payments to their subscribers, says Prideaux, with Boku bearing responsibility for the "entire compliance envelope".