Mobile payment: Payments via mobile phone bill

Simple and secure payments through a mobile phone bill or a pre-paid voucher.

Mobile payment / Pay using mobile phone bills

Consumers can use an online payment method calledcarrier billing” to pay for online goods, products, support, services and content with their mobile devices (mobile phone, tablet, PC or smart TV).
This payment option is often offered as an alternative to using credit cards, instant transfers or PayPal for micropayments in areas such as in-app purchases, ticketing, public transport, online games, access to online articles, music downloads and video on demand, to name just a few examples. The amount due is either added to the mobile phone bill or deducted from a pre-paid voucher. In fact, carrier billing has become one of the top three payment methods on Facebook – it’s a mobile payment option that can no longer be ignored!

Advantages of this payment method:

  • Quick and easy payment process
  • Effective data privacy
  • No registration required
  • No sensitive details entered (such as card number or account details)
  • Availability (in Germany, for example, only 52% of all adults have a credit card – yet the rate of mobile phone ownership is 125%)

Mobile payment with DIMOCO

The payment method is a circle formed by a user, i.e. the consumer, along with a service provider, a payment institute and a mobile network operator.

The service provider

A service provider is – as the name suggests – the actual provider of the service or support, and is subject to local laws and regulations, in Germany for example to the German Telemedia Act (TMG). The service provider bears responsibility for ensuring optimal functionality and billing of the service. Many international companies, such as Apple, Facebook, Spotify or Netflix act as service providers and offer carrier billing as a settlement option.

DIMOCO: The payment institute

DIMOCO Europe GmbH is a licensed payment institute and is supervised by the Austrian Financial Market Authority. DIMOCO functions as an intermediary body between consumers and service providers and processes payment transactions made via a telecommunication, digital or IT device. DIMOCO does not produce or offer physical goods, digital products or services to users and is therefore not a service provider.

In order to enable service providers to offer their services to users through their network operators, DIMOCO provides a technical mobile transaction hub to make payment through “carrier billing” possible.

The role of the mobile network provider

DIMOCO has contracts with both the service provider and the mobile network operator, also known as the network provider. The payment institute functions as an interface: the payment information is transferred from the service provider to the relevant mobile network provider, and the consumer’s details are not provided to DIMOCO. DIMOCO’s contract partners include, amongst others, Vodafone, Telekom, O2, Mobilcom-Debitel, A1, T-Mobile, Drei, Swisscom, Sunrise and Salt.

How does the process work?

John Smith, a consumer, concludes a post-paid contract with a mobile network operator – Vodafone, for instance. He purchases a product from a service provider, a chargeable eBook, for EUR 5.99.
Payment for Mr Smith’s online order is then transmitted via DIMOCO’s technical connection to Vodafone, which also transmits the service to the Mr. Smith’s connection (and his end device).
The following month, Mr Smith’s monthly mobile phone bill includes the sum of EUR 5.99 in addition to his contractual billing amount.

In the case of a pre-paid contract, enough credit must be available to cover the service. In this case, at least EUR 6.00 must be available; otherwise, it will not be possible to purchase this service.

customers mobile payment flow 2

 

If a service provider wishes to collect the amount due through the consumer’s mobile phone bill, they can only do so with the cooperation of the network provider, who issues the phone bill and automatically accepts the consumer’s billing address. DIMOCO does not possess this data.

Products can be paid for using a mobile phone, tablet, PC or Smart TV. To do so, select the carrier billing optionon the payment page.

Two examples of how this can work:

  • Via mobile internet: the purchase is confirmed with one tap of the mobile phone, tablet or SmartTV.
  • Via stationary internet: the user enters their mobile phone number on the website in question, and is then sent an SMS with a TAN that they enter on the website to confirm.

There are essentially two different models to choose from:

One-off purchases / services:
A consumer makes use of a one-off service. After confirming the purchase, the amount due is debited once only. This means that no cancellation is necessary if the service is not desired in future.
A chat service is also debited as a one-off purchase.

Subscription services:
These services are activated by the consumer and continue to be charged until cancelled, though this can be done at any time. You can find more information regarding the terms and conditions on the service provider’s website and/or by text message on your mobile phone.

Why does DIMOCO appear on mobile phone bills?

No matter whether it’s a subscription service or a one-off purchase, in both cases the consumer only enters into a contract with the service provider. In some countries, such as Germany, for example, the payment institute (and not the service provider) is shown as the biller on mobile phone bills. This is because DIMOCO has a contractually binding technical connection with the network operators and as the service has been purchased and provided via our technical infrastructure.

Call center for consumer queries

Consumers with queries can contact the MPSC – Mobile Payments Service Center.
The call center specialises in processing consumer queries about mobile payment transactions in a professional manner, and can clarify the facts with the respective service provider providing they are signed up to the MPSC. For this reason, the MPSC’s contact details are provided on consumers’ mobile phone bills, in the welcome message on purchasing a service and also on the service’s website.

Important: the phone number in question must be entered when contacting the call center, as it is required to look into the query. The MPSC then contacts the service provider, obtains the necessary information and can, if the consumer so desires, end the subscription service.
The call center is available to consumers free of charge.

MPSC self-care portal:
After consumers have logged in using their respective phone number, the portal at www.mobileinfo.cc enables them to manage their subscriptions and view details of their purchases, though they can also contact the MPSC directly for any further queries.

Further information on DIMOCO:

Press reports
Twitter

We would be happy to answer any further queries you might have via info@dimoco.eu!

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