The recent relaunch of the Operator Billing Platform by the Austrian subsidiary A1 has made payments by mobile phone bill even simpler and safer. The relaunch also introduces a host of new functions.
Operator Billing Platform for faster and more secure business transactions
The service's key technology is the Operator Billing Platform, which enables consumers to pay for digital goods such as music, APPs or videos by having the cost of the purchase added to their mobile phone bill. Transparent listing of all payments for the end customer and a state-of-the-art technology ensure that online shopping is safe and secure. As of today vendors like Google can run their business models both faster and also more easily.
Extensive Self Administration
"Mein A1" or "mein bob" provide end customers with an extensive self-administration function for all payments to third-party vendors. From now on users can easily see every payment and every subscription as well as block and unblock payments to third-party vendors. Cost limits for these services can also be defined quickly and easily and subscriptions can be ended directly just as easily. As of 2018 the functions will also be available for ticketing and donations. This will enable vendors especially in the ticketing sector (pay by phone parking, cinema tickets, public transport tickets) to develop new business areas and gain new revenue streams.
Mobile Operators' Joint Code of Conduct
The increased use of modern means of communication as a method of payment for content services means that vendors have to present their offers in a way that is transparent and easy to understand.
To prevent misselling from happening in the first place, the three Austrian network operators A1, T-Mobile and 3 agreed to sign a Code of Conduct in autumn 2015. The aim is to ensure that contract partners and vendors comply with the relevant laws by implementing checks.
"It is our duty to take appropriate action in the interests of our customers to ensure that services and products from modern premium and content services are processed and billed in a way that is transparent, secure and comprehensible for our customers. For us, it's only natural to offer these services as they are part of our living corporate responsibility towards our customers," says Franz Bader, Head of Wholesale & International Business, Telekom Austria Group.
About Operator Billing
Operator Billing enables people who use digital services to pay for them by having them charged to a mobile phone bill without the need to receive or send premium SMS. There is also no need to enter credit card or bank account details.
While premium rate services enable the number-based billing of services over a telephone or Internet bill, the element of number addressing is missing in content services. Here, the consumer uses a service on a page that comes up on the end device, and the network operator matches the service to the order process and the billing. The terminology for content services differs depending on the operator. "Vendor services" may be subject to other legal requirements in addition to the specific norms of telecommunication laws.
A1 has agreements with a number of vendors to enable customers to pay for digital services over a telephone bill. The contract is concluded directly between the vendor of the service and the customer so that all services or products offered are directly governed by the terms and conditions of the service vendor.