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- What’s the user experience going to be? A poor experience will reflect badly on your service.
- What’s the payment success rate or put another way, how many of my transactions are likely to fail?
All of the UK operators now endorse the Payforit WAP flow as they believe it offers consumers a superior experience than Premium SMS. US operators – Sprint, AT&T Mobility, Virgin Mobile and soon T-Mobile – also offer WAP billing as do most operators in Europe.
The failure rate with WAP billing is around 8% in the UK – 7% of which is users with insufficient funds according to Bango data. In our experience just 1% of transactions fail because of problems processing payments.
When you compare this with Premium SMS failure rates of 16% (recently quoted by a European network operator) you can quickly see how poor Premium SMS is compared to WAP billing. Remove the 7% for insufflient funds and on average 9% of transactions fail, compared with 1% for WAP billing.
For anyone selling mobile services, Premium SMS means 9% of customers are fulfilled but not billed. That’s right, they get your content for free! With WAP billing, you only deliver the content once Bango has collected the money, plus you get more successful transactions.
Premium SMS volumes have been on the gradual decline in the last year (down 23% from April to July 2008 according to one European network operator). This is partly caused by loss of consumer confidence, the rise in complaints seen by PhonepayPlus and partly because some offending services have been shut down.
Is it any surprises that more and more new mobile services use WAP billing rather than Premium SMS to charge for content? What are your experiences with WAP billing? We’d love to hear them.