Author Archives: Guest Blogger

DIMOCO guest blog post #1 of 4: Carrier billing becomes an impactful payment solution

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By John BaRoss, Founder & President, FINCCLUDE Incorporated

John BaRoss Fincclude

A rather quiet alternative payment solution is continuing its inexorable ascension in depth and now breadth as a major, impactful payment solution globally.


Carrier Billing [CB], also referred to as Operator Billing, had its beginnings back near the dawn of monetizing the Internet. Visionaries of eCommerce saw the potential for transacting online, plus anticipated new forms of digital products but at price points far below viable economic model thresholds of traditional payments options like credit cards. The notion of micropayments caused eCommerce planners to intuitively look to telco/carriers to overcome this challenge. While carriers are communication network companies, their other significant core competency was billing. Specifically carriers supported line item billing of network call events that often represented charges to customers in amounts comparable to microbilling (less than $5.00, even less than $1.00).


In the US, while credit card penetration was significant, industry studies showed sizable portions of the population on the sidelines of eCommerce (20-40%+) due to either being unbanked or fearing to transact online with one’s personal financial account information. Leadership at major merchants viewed carrier billing as the Holy Grail of eCommerce billing but in the US, carrier leadership was under significant financial pressure due to chasing the fraudulent MCI/Worldcom ghost, and cramming and slamming billing complaints to the FTC, FCC then to Carrier C-suites (for unauthorized switching of long distance carrier). These environmental factors influenced thinking at leadership of US carriers to not aggressively pursue carrier billing.


Over time, while the US became generally viewed as a global laggard with CB, globally hundreds of carriers, thousands of merchants and countless millions of consumers scaled utilizing CB to make purchases of a potpourri of premium digital content goods and services. In 2016, CB has expanded its global reach to be available in about 120 countries (representing over 90% of the world’s population), supported by 1-10+ carriers per country. Leading industry analyst firms approximate the DCB globally supports $12-$16B+ now, projected to grow to over $24B by 2019.


About FINCCLUDE: Non-profit FINCCLUDE (Financial Inclusion Now, Carrier Commerce Leading a Ubiquitous Digital Economy) is downstream from AFI (Alliance for Financial Inclusion), uniquely exclusively serving the Carrier Commerce industry at the intersection of Financial Inclusion by helping to facilitate the cross-pollinating of financial inclusion success-knowledge to operational leaders in Carrier Commerce (when necessary, as a rapid response unit).


What’s your opinion about carrier billing? Happy to receive your thoughts via twitter #DIMOCO or email to

Carrier billing unlocks countless upselling possibilities during the lifecycle of love

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151022 Margit Guest blogger


Smartphones, smart TVs, tablet PCs — we live in a truly digital world. Both dating and making payments,for instance, have been digital for quite some time now. In fact, online dating

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is more successful than ever before, a shining example of how the digital era continues to influence every heartbeat in the love lifecycle. The online dating industry has turned satisfying people’s romantic needs into a lucrative business, with services for everything from searching for the right partner, to breaking up with the wrong one.


And the secret of their success is all in the timing – providing their services at the exact moment customers need them. This leaves no room for complicated registration and payment procedures which can ruin even the most perfect moment.
Carrier billing not only offers easy access to customers, but also enables online businesses to reach their entire target group. While other digital payment methods are drastically lower in reach, or somehow tricky to use (entering long PIN codes or remembering passwords), carrier billing allows users to purchase content quickly and easily via their mobile phone bill. The positive impact on your business: an increasing conversion rate of your online dating services with every heartbeat of customers’ digital lifecycle of love…


151006 Lifecycle of love


…read the whole Interview and download the DIMOCO Industry Special for free!



A Quiet Giant of Mobile Commerce: Carrier Commerce – a weekly blog series by John BaRoss

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John BaRoss-01


Today I want to tell you something more about the two major sectors of Carrier Commerce!


The two major sectors of Carrier Commerce today are:
1) “Direct Carrier Billing” [DCB] – 2c in the hierarchy – today a $12B global industry, operating in over 100 countries, projected to grow to $18B-$22B in the coming years.
2) “Carrier Mobile Money” [CMM] – 1cii in the hierarchy – today a $2B global industry, operating in over 60 countries today and projected to more than double in the near term


Direct Carrier Billing and/or Carrier Mobile Money is available today to over 95% of the world’s population via hundreds of participating Carriers who partner with FinTech PSPs (Payment Service Providers) who enable these services. Today the mobile phone is the most ubiquitous technology worldwide in all developed and developing nations. Carriers globally have over 7B mobile phone accounts … nearly equal to the total global population. This distribution reach of Carriers dwarfs all other payment options combined.


Importantly, Carrier Commerce’s sectors of Direct Carrier Billing and Carrier Mobile Money both address market needs and pain points now. This fact helps explain the significant (yet oddly mostly quiet) adoption of DCB and CMM globally. That market pain point fundamentally dovetails with one of the great noble causes of our time – Financial Inclusion.

While Carrier Commerce is a compelling business opportunity that helps online merchants reach larger addressable markets, there is a higher calling that Carrier Commerce serves in that its unsurpassed distribution is helping improve the lives of countless millions globally.


In the next edition of this series I’ll share more about how Carrier Commerce is helping the unbanked become a part of the global economy – which helps them realize better lives.

Yours John BaRoss

A Quiet Giant of Mobile Commerce: Carrier Commerce – a weekly blog series by John BaRoss

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John BaRoss-01   As I announced in part 1 of my series I will illustrate the common

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industry terms with a hierarchy-graph in part 2.   (click to view the whole poster)150716 John BaRoss-02   This hierarchy overly simplifies the complex array of payment industry solutions and does not include all the current and emerging solutions and permutations between multiple solutions in mobile commerce. What this format does provide is calibration of the common terms in mobile commerce, showing (for instance) that mobile wallets – which dominate the industry media this year with headlines about wallet wars – is a subset of mobile commerce. As investigative reporters have been seeking to get a scoop on launch dates for the various marquee mobile wallet providers in the news, there has been a nearly invisible portion of the Mobile Commerce landscape that is broadly referred to as “Carrier Commerce”.   In part 3 I will let you know something more about the two major sectors of Carrier Commerce! Stay tuned! Yours John BaRoss

A Quiet Giant of Mobile Commerce: Carrier Commerce – a weekly blog series by John BaRoss

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John BaRoss-01


Mobile Commerce. Mobile Payments. Mobile Wallets. Mobile Money … these are some of the more commonly used terms for the hottest industry (Payments) in the broader “FinTech” industry – an industry that some refer to as the hottest industry in today’s global economy (as the world continues advancing to a ubiquitous digital economy). In late June 2015 Accenture reported that global investment in financial technology tripled to $12.2 billion. Of that total, over half the value of those investments was in the FinTech industry of ‘Payments’ (with a quarter in the FinTech industry of ‘Lending’ and the balance spread across a variety of other FinTech industries).


At a March 2015 annual payment industry conference held on the grounds of Harvard University in Boston, Massachusetts, discussions with several leaders of mobile wallet companies in the payment industry of FinTech acknowledged an interesting reality: Even among leaders in the payment industry one will not find a universal definition of a mobile wallet. Related to this notion, those who closely monitor the mobile commerce space (of course along with casual observers who may see occasional headlines about marquee firms making in this area), will find the above terms used interchangeably at times when in fact there are important distinctions. Without understanding the distinctions, there often are times that the general media, as well as even the industry media and industry leaders, report and/or make statements that inadvertently exclude key sub-sectors of the payment industry that is mobile commerce.


For the purposes of this blog series I will calibrate terminology by also framing these common industry terms in the context of a hierarchy-graph you can have a look at next week!

Yours John BaRoss!



John first got involved in carrier commerce near the dawn of monetizing the internet in the mid-1990s with AT&T’s premium 900 ‘voice-commerce’ business unit. He led a collaboration with AT&T Labs for microbilling that launched in 1999 as ClickAT&T – supporting recurring and/or ad hoc eCommerce transactions.  Next he was on governance leadership of a AT&T-Accenture JV that planned, launched and scaled AT&T PrePaid WebCents with 3rd Party VAS deals. After then he joined ClickandBuy LLC (known by some at the time as the PayPal of Europe) and did multi-million dollar licensing/outsourcing deals with global carriers. When ClickandBuy exited partnering with carriers he jumped to Amdocs QPass Digital Commerce where he envisioned and executed a strategic alliance with a carrier billing clearinghouse to create a differentiated ecosystem that won new carrier business. Recruited into India’s outsourcing industry in recent years to help them grow into eCommerce, he has done deals with Internet Retailer Top 500 while developing deeper global insights into global carrier commerce.

Barrier-free mobility for all

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150601 Guest blog. Werner Bischof-01


ways4me is the final project in the ways4all series of projects and is implemented by several prestigious partners under the leadership of the “Energy, transport and environmental management” course at the JOANNEUM University of Applied Sciences in Kapfenberg. People with disabilities will find it easier to travel thanks to this project. Its aim is to produce a barrier-free application for mobile devices by bringing together intuitive operation of indoor and outdoor navigation, access to travel information and communication with public transport.


The blind and visually impaired are the group that Ways4all is targeting. This group is faced with particular challenges when traveling on public transport. If this group manages to overcome the numerous hurdles by using this end-to-end solution, other target groups such as tourists and other customers of public transport will have a new and practical aid for planning and making journeys.


Working in cooperation with Dimoco subsidiaries TAF mobile GmbH, the IT specialists for public transport in Germany, a user interface combined with audio output specially designed for people with visual impairment, has been created for the popular easy.GO mobile phone and ticket application.


An international jury State has now the research project “ways4me”, nominated by their project partners for the Austrian Mobility 2015.


The Federal Minister for Transport, Innovation and Technology of Austria, Alois Stoeger will give Vienna the State Prize for mobility in 2015 on June 22, 2015.


For more information:, and

The World of Mobile Payments in 2015

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141118 Guest.Christoph Enzinger


2014 is nearing its end and again a lot has happened in the digital space within just 12 short months, particularly in the area of payment. Several new approaches towards mobile money and digital payment have taken to the headlines – most famously Apple with its mobile wallet solution Apple Pay, but also others like Amazon or Facebook had at least a brief appearance in the spotlight. The concept of using your mobile phone for payment is certainly gaining momentum and forecasts on the potential of this new business area are eye-watering (depending on the source, 2015 forecasts on mobile payment transaction values are between USD 670 billion or USD 1 trillion).


So, it’s now about time to raise the critical question: What will 2015 for mobile payment truly bring?
Firstly, we need to be aware that mobile payment is just an umbrella term, which covers payment methods across different sales channels (from digital to “real world” customer touch points) as well as various billing methods (e.g. direct carrier billing or prepaid), which have just as much in common as a credit card has with cash payments. We also should not expect to see mobile payment adoption as a global phenomenon which will happen everywhere simultaneously, as it will largely depend on prevailing circumstances. Financial transactions are a sensitive topic for consumers without habitual changes overnight.
Still, mobile payment brings many benefits to our everyday-life (mainly centered on convenience), so it is not a question IF, but WHEN mobile payments will finally enter the mainstream of consumer behavior.
Due to a series of current trends, 2015 looks more than promising to become the year of mobile payments:


User behavior is changing quickly. Google is predicting that in 2015 mobile devices will already enable two thirds of purchases and will lay the ground for more targeted, personalized offers and as a consequence for an increase in mobile payment. Google might have some business interest that this prediction comes true (with Android dominating the market for mobile operating systems), but also independent sources confirm that consumers are scaling back on the time they spend on their computers in favor of their mobile devices.


Direct Carrier Billing is still an area of high growth, with DCB service providers venturing into the field of physical-goods-billing. For years now, direct carrier billing transaction values have been growing steadily and DCB is now available from most operators across the globe. The benefits of this payment method for digital stores are obvious, as it is even available to customers who don’t own a credit card or even a bank account. Recently we also saw DCB service providers setting up pilots for the billing of physical goods, for example in the United Kingdom or Singapore. There are still a few hurdles to overcome (high operator fees to name one), but this is certainly an area to watch.


Apple Pay – here to stay? Apple iPay is already widely available to consumers on an Apple device running iOS 6.0+. At least in the US, Apple managed to get a few recognized brands to support the app from launch, e.g. McDonald’s, Subway, Macy’s, Disney, and others, and it also secured partnerships with three of the four major card issuers. So far, Apple Pay is certainly one of the most promising mobile NFC solutions, however it still has a few challenges to solve before it reaches large market adoption (one of them being to further grow its partner network outside the USA). Still, Apple Pay will certainly be a hot topic in 2015 too.


Internet and financial giants alike are putting all their weight behind mobile payment. While pro-active consumer demand for NFC solutions might still be limited, you certainly won’t need to worry about the supply side. The majority of traditional payment providers and also digital over-the-top-players have mobile payment solutions high up on their agenda (for example the recent divorce of eBay and PayPal is mainly an effort to focus resources and to capture more of the digial and mobile payments market).


Mobile Money in the developing world is gaining lots of traction. Mobile financial services are popular in large parts of Africa due to the lower penetration of bank accounts. The most renowned existing service is probably M-Pesa, which is now live in 7 countries and has 16.8 million active users in its country of origin, Kenya, alone. Recent months saw a number of further co-operations between banks and operators emerging, with the plan to launch further financial services in the near feature.


141117 Mobile Money Accounts-01


Expect mobile payments to feature big at Mobile World Congress 2015 (again). Already in 2014 we saw several financial heavy-weights like MasterCard or VISA announcing their next steps in the mobile payments ecosystem. In March it will be interesting to find out which new initiatives, co-operations and rivalries emerged over the last few months. Of course we will also be on sight, and will keep you updated about the latest news on Twitter @DIMOCO (you will also be able to visit us at our DIMOCO stand, to discuss with us the latest trends in the mobile payments industry).



Christoph Enzinger is Product Manager for Mobile Payments and Direct Carrier Billing at DIMOCO. In previous roles he was working as Senior Marketing and Product Manager at Vodafone Group and the GSMA, where he was engaging in and organizing work groups for operators and players from the authentication and payments ecosystem.

mobile ticketing takes off-part 2

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140826 Guest blogger Alexander Birnkammerer-01


After a couple of weeks of testing, the clever mobile user is ready to face new challenges. This time the “tastiest morsel” of the information apps is to be tried and tested: mobile ticketing’s supreme discipline, namely purchasing tickets for mass transport.


The day draws near, the problem is obvious: without a valid ticket, bus and rail are off limits. Thanks to information and ticket recommendation, the right fare is quickly found. That leaves just one hurdle to cross in most regions. Registration is required. Logical – the internet is still young, it’s impossible for everyone to have their own data.


Name and address are easy, bank details thanks to SEPA a bit trickier. Ticket inspectors still want to be shown ID; credit card or similar; these are also easily entered. Create a password and presto! All done.

After that everything happens very fast. Select ticket, confirm the purchase using your password , and moments later a genuine electronic ticket complete with bar code and validity information lands on your device.


The procedure is a trifle more elegant in regions offering registration-free ticketing. Here the customer simply selects the ticket on the app, and the system automatically identifies the carrier and customer’s number via mobile operator billing, and bills the amount to the cell phone invoice.

In place of an ID card, the device information and MSISDN act as the control medium.


This is already possible with the easy.GO app, which is available in the German transportation network MDV and the Rhein Sieg (VRS) linked transport system.

The registration-free option provided by easy.GO is extremely popular with mass transportation customers. Of course – not everyone is prepared to disclose sensitive personal data just to purchase a bus ticket! The transportation company is rewarded with an explosion in the numbers of passengers. Over 80% of regular customers use the service for approx. 3.5 million route enquiries. Annual organic growth in ticket sales is between 30-50% and surges when supported by marketing campaigns. Extremely satisfying from the business point of view, too, as the increase is sustained.



140917 TAF Mobile-01