MACH To Provide Skype Mobile Billing Services
Skype users will be able to add Skype Credits to their mobile bill from October
Skype has agreed a deal with Luxembourg-based MACH to deliver direct operator billing services to the popular VoIP application.
Mobile billing options will be rolled out to users from October and will allow users to pay for Skype Credits directly on their bill or from a pre-paid account.
Skype ‘s basic service is free and allows users to call other Skype users over an Internet connection without charge. However, Skype Credits can be used to call landline and mobile phones directly, often at cheaper rates than operators, especially with regards to international calls.
The agreement will strengthen Skype’s ongoing push into mobile, with the Microsoft owned company releasing applications for iOS, Android and Windows Phone devices in recent months. However, it remains to be seen whether direct billing will threaten mobile operators’ revenue streams.
Skype mobile billing
“Delivering a strong user-experience has been at the heart of Skype’s adoption by millions of users globally, and we want to extend this philosophy to the payment options we provide,” said Neil Ward, general manager of business operations at Microsoft’s Skype Division. “We expect ease of payment to attract new users, while existing users will become more profitable customers as they increase their spend with us.”
Initially, users will be only be able to purchase credits through a browser on their PC or mobile, but will eventually be able to get them through in-app functionality. MACH claims that its services will provide a “significantly improved” user experience.
“With MACH’s Direct Billing Gateway, Skype has a far more flexible, secure and reliable billing solution than, for example, premium SMS,” added Morten Brøgger, CEO of Mach. “Our Direct Operator Billing solution also provides a great boon for the operators we work with by allowing them to enter the e-commerce value chain and start to win market share from the major credit card brands and companies, which have traditionally dominated the space.”
Although cheaper calls are the main incentive for purchasing Skype Credits, they will also allow users to avoid the adverts that Microsoft is planning to introduce to the service in the near future.
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