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Boku Acquires mopay, Solidifies Position as World’s Largest Mobile Payment Provider for Carrier Billing
Combination of two carrier-billing giants will help drive mobile payments standardization for merchants, carriers and consumers. Boku, Inc., today announced the acquisition of Germany-based mopay, one of the largest carrier billing companies in the world and one of Boku’s leading competitors. The acquisition makes Boku the largest standalone provider of carrier billing-based mobile payment services in the world, adding marquee merchant customers like Valve, gameloft, and Wargaming, and hundreds of other merchants to Boku’s existing global merchant base that includes Facebook, Sony, Spotify, and Electronic Arts.
The merger represents a combination of two largely complementary organizations, with similar value propositions to carriers and to merchants across the virtual, digital and physical goods categories. The combined assets of the two companies will offer greater scale and operational efficiency and a more standardized carrier billing solution to the benefit of merchants, carriers and consumers alike.
“By coming together we’ve created a company that can realize the vision of charging purchases to your phone bill as a truly global payment method at scale,” said Jon Prideaux, CEO of Boku. “Together, Boku and mopay serve some of the largest digital merchants in the world and we have a tremendous pipeline in the works.”
“This is a merger from strength. Both companies have strong growth plans, but felt that our customers would be best served by coming together to build a market leading mobile payments platform,” said Ingo Lippert, CEO of mopay.
The new organization offers mobile payments in more than 80 countries around the world, with a reach close to 5 billion consumers. Over time, the companies will merge operations and operate under the Boku brand.
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mopay signs global carrier billing contract with leading China mobile gaming company Chukong Technologies
mopay announced today the signing of a global carrier billing deal with the leading Chinese mobile gaming company Chukong Technologies (“Chukong”). The Beijing-based company has decided to integrate mopay’s Android software development kit (SDK) solution as essential element in the overall billing module for game developers worldwide. The mopay interface will serve as Chukong’s Android default solution for a consumer that wants to pay for digital goods and services via carrier billing.
Chukong operates an innovative mobile entertainment platform, offering a full suite of solutions and services to enable developers worldwide to efficiently develop, publish and monetize content and providing a highly engaging mobile entertainment experience to mobile users. For mobile content developers, Chukong enables them to develop popular content with high efficiency and publish and monetize their content with ease. Their suite of solutions and services consists of world-leading Cocos open-source engines, a content design toolkit and content publishing services, such as game operation, payment service, content localization, data analytics, technical support and advertising service. As a result, Chukong has become a trusted publishing partner for leading mobile content developers in China, and published three out of the top four mobile games in China in 2013.
Chukong has selected mopay’s carrier billing solution for Android to serve as a frictionless carrier billing engine for consumers who want to pay via
their mobile phone bills. It is integrated into Chukong’s generic billing module, which supports the most popular regional billing methods for all of its publishing territories.
Ingo Lippert, mopay CEO, said, “Chukong is one of the top go-to partners for global developers who want to publish in the Asia-Pacific region. Our mopay team takes great pride in being the carrier billing partner of choice for one of Asia’s most innovative and successful mobile apps companies.”
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mopay wins carrier billing payment contract for the world’s top grossing freemium massively multiplayer online game, CrossFire
mopay announced today an agreement with Smilegate West, the publisher of CrossFire, the world’s top-grossing free-to-play online game in 2013. CrossFire has been ranked #1 with about $1 billion revenue in a recent report from Superdata Research on top-earning free-to-play PC online games. Smilegate West is publishing CrossFire in all of the Americas. mopay provides the respective carrier billing infrastructure.
CrossFire came out as the surprise winner in the annual survey from New York-based Superdata Research, investigating the worldwide revenue of the most popular free-to-play games on the PC. The First Person Shooter CrossFire has been hugely popular in Asia and not only scores with its low bandwidth requirement and easy-to-play gaming experience but also with surprisingly high revenues for 2013.
Canada-based Smilegate West has licensed CrossFire for Americas distribution. South America in particular is a very attractive region, since the user behavior and consumer tech environment resemble the Asian region in many ways. Carrier billing specialist mopay has been working with Smilegate West for the last four years as partner of choice for all the company’s publishing titles. The extension of their cooperation to CrossFire has been a logical decision from the publishing specialist. CrossFire has been translated in English, Spanish and Portuguese to fully appeal to the Americas market, and it has just left the beta stage to go into a commercial release.
Ingo Lippert, CEO of mopay comments, “Smilegate West has been a long-term partner of ours. To see them succeed with their recent deal for CrossFire makes us happy and proud to work with such a fine company. South America is one of our growth regions and nicely ties into our increased efforts to become the number one go-to partner for carrier billing in this region.”
“Carrier Billing has always been essential for the commercial success of our titles across our publishing territory,” states Mario Filho from Smilegate West Inc. “mopay provided a great carrier billing infrastructure, and proved to be a very proactive partner in the complex and ever-changing world of carrier billing. We are delighted to have mopay as a partner in the launch of the most successful PC freemium game of 2013.”
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mopay enters Indian carrier billing market with next-gen app billing solution
mopay announced its entry into the Indian market with an HTML5 in-app billing solution. The company brings its latest technology to the Indian market where staggering growth rates indicate that the number of Internet-enabled mobile devices will have exceeded the US by the end of 2014. mopay is launching the HTML5-for-mobile version of its award -winning direct carrier billing platform on all large Indian carriers to give its subscribers of mobile Internet devices the same frictionless payment experience as in Europe and the United States.
By mid-2014, 185 million users in India will have Internet-enabled devices, growing 20 percent on a quarter-on-quarter basis. While the penetration rate is increasing rapidly, the user experience with mobile transactions is still very traditional and relies on sending premium text messages to a short code within the messaging app. mopay wants to drastically improve this cumbersome payment process via an HTML5 browser interface, which is ideal for in-app payments. A direct billing interface that supports 75% of the Indian carrier landscape enables a frictionless mobile payment experience in line with western standards. Even if the carrier network is unavailable, mopay’s solution still works if the device is connected to a WiFi network.
Indian carriers, such as Airtel, Vodafone and Reliance, have recently invested billions in US dollars to upgrade their network infrastructure and allow users in mainly urban areas to use mobile Internet services. Consequently smart phone sales have skyrocketed and triggered the demand for both free- and paid-content services, such as games, music, video, and community memberships. Direct carrier billing is the logical answer to the growing need for fast and easy payment, and it has put mopay’s solution at the forefront of the growing transaction business with digital content.
Ingo Lippert, CEO of mopay, comments, “India’s mobile phone market is the world’s second-largest after China in numbers of customers. The demand for digital content is enormous, but only mopay’s latest generation of direct carrier billing will be able to unlock the full commercial potential. Our merchant base has always been eager to proactively enter the market. I think we can safely say the time is now.”
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mopay signs carrier billing contract with Baidu Mobile Game, China’s leading channel of mobile games distribution and promotion
mopay announced today a carrier billing partnership with Baidu Mobile Game, one of the largest mobile games distribution and promotion channels in China. Under this agreement, mopay will be the preferred carrier billing provider for mobile games, which are distributed by the Baidu Mobile Game platform.
Baidu Mobile Game is the entertainment service platform of Chinese Internet giant Baidu, which is currently ranked the fifth largest website in the world according to Alexa Internet. Through cooperation with thousands of Chinese mobile game developers and distributors, Baidu Mobile Game publishes all genres of mobile games, which appeal to their ever-growing international user base.
mopay has been chosen by Baidu Mobile Game to service the app store giant with carrier billing globally. Baidu Mobile Game will make use of mopay’s frictionless payment method. A special mopay/Baidu Mobile Game software development kit (SDK) has been jointly developed in order to allow Baidu Mobile Game users to take full advantage of mopay’s local carrier connections and billing expertise.
“The Baidu Mobile Game deal is a groundbreaking achievement for our global mopay team,” says Ingo Lippert, CEO of mopay. “It is an honor being selected as a preferred provider for one of China’s Mobile Internet heavyweights. We are thrilled to enable Baidu Mobile Game users to engage with our mopay solution, one of the easiest and most convenient methods of payment, especially in geographic regions where alternative payment approaches are more the norm, and traditional western style payment means are not widely available.”
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mopay is the first global mobile payments company to sign carrier billing agreement with Viettel Telecom
mopay and Viettel, the market-leading mobile network operator in Vietnam, have signed a strategic carrier billing partnership. The agreement will enable mopay’s international merchant portfolio to allow Viettel’s 58 million strong user base to transact with mopay. Easy and reliable purchases of digital goods that are billed through the Viettel phone bill can now be processed.
mopay’s regional office in Hanoi has engaged with Viettel to take on the challenge of opening the Vietnamese carrier billing market to international digital brands. Three factors have served to bring mopay and Viettel together: the sheer size of the local Vietnamese mobile market, which has the eighth highest number of mobile phone subscribers in the world; the steep growth of smart phones by more than 156% over the last three years; and the openness of Vietnam’s leading carrier to fully embrace the carrier billing opportunity. mopay will introduce its platform with a direct integration into Viettel’s billing platform to ensure a best-in-class user experience, as well as access to superior commercial deals currently available through its merchant base.
The mopay payment process that Vietnamese users will experience is very simple. When purchasing a digital or virtual item online, consumers choose mopay as their payment method. mopay only needs a verified mobile phone number to bill the requested amount. No registration or further information is needed. All user interfaces, such as PC screens, tablets and mobile phones, are supported in order to make the payment method adapt to different usage scenarios. On a global scale, it is still the easiest way to pay for music, games, virtual items, or even tickets.
Ingo Lippert, CEO of mopay, comments, “Vietnam is a very vibrant country where you can literally feel how quickly this market is evolving. We feel privileged to team up with Vietnam’s largest mobile network provider, Viettel, to take mobile payments to the next level.”
A Viettel representative adds, “mopay’s ongoing local support and global experience have been striking arguments for us to enter into this winning partnership. We place very high standards on the companies with whom we work, and we are happy that mopay has satisfied all of our requirements to become a preferred partner of Viettel.”