What is Direct Carrier Billing?
The consumer demand for convenience keeps rapidly growing across the world. With the rapid advance of technology, particularly in the last decade, people now wish to access anything almost instantly and as conveniently and quickly as possible be it a clothing item, a mobile app, or an electronic device. Inevitably, this pushes service and product providers in all industries to seek ways of using any available tools and methods to promote their offerings and reach as broad an audience as possible. And the telecom industry is no exception.
Many telecom companies have been doing all they can to improve their infrastructure, develop innovative solutions and methods, and make the most of next-generation technologies to increase their competitiveness. Considering the rate of advancement, it seems that this will prove to be an ever-growing endeavor. There are, however, some simple yet highly effective ways to provide convenience to consumers and providers alike. And what is known as Direct Carrier Billing, Direct Operator Billing, or Mobile Carrier Billing is a striking example of this.
This innovative billing method utilizes mobile phones, which, with their high capacity, have proved to be the most convenient and available medium of communication and connection, enabling users to make various payments easily. To put simply, Direct Carrier Billing (DCB) is a mobile payment method that allows mobile operator subscribers to make purchases and charge the costs associated with such transactions to their mobile phone carrier bill or prepaid accounts. This way, they can purchase digital products from third-party vendors only using their mobile device (either a smartphone or any feature phone) and SIM card, without needing the mediation of a debit or credit card or digital wallet.
How Does Direct Carrier Billing Work in Telecom?
Compatible with any digital platform and used extensively, this convenient mobile payment method allows users to buy digital and physical goods (i.e., services and products) across various channels in just a few seconds either by using a prepaid account or charging the costs to their mobile phone bill. It is particularly effective in developing and underbanked countries yet still widely adopted in developed and mature economies for the convenience it enables.
DCB streamlines payment channels and thus enables digital service providers to use them effectively, offering convenience to users by adding the costs of their purchases to their carrier bill through a direct connection with their mobile operator. Practically, the users access the payment page of a service or product they wish to purchase, opt to pay with their mobile phone bill, and receive a confirmation notification via digital channels.
One critical factor here is the choice of DCB solution providers, also known as managed service providers. They play a vital role in smoothly connecting mobile network operators and digital service providers.
What are the Features of Telenity Direct Carrier Billing Services?
Tailored for digital services, Telenity Direct Carrier Billing Services offers a fast and secure payment alternative for telecommunication service providers and their subscribers. With its capping (i.e., capping per purchase, day, or month, as well as capping based on subscriber credit segment, tenure, or setting) and “trusted merchant” features, it stands out as a particularly reliable payment method for end-users. It also provides many features that help operators utilize their capacity to charge and invoice their subscribers and integrate with a diverse range of digital service providers.
Offered by Telenity Digital Services Platform, the Direct Carrier Billing Services functionality can also be deployed as a stand-alone tool where the DCB partner can use the DCB’s charging API to charge the customer. With this functionality, which exposes the charging and billing capabilities of the operator to third parties in a controlled way, mobile operators can manage and fine-tune their capping rule sets for services. As the operator may not allow some customers to use DCB, the DSP performs an eligibility check before the initial DCB use and updates it when subscriber status changes.
Telenity Direct Carrier Billing Services also enables DCB partners to place requests for periodic charging and notify them at every successful charge. It supports partial refunds and keeps track of them to ensure that the total amount of partial refunds does not exceed the amount charged. In addition, it can connect to multiple charging systems, including those of other operators, and charge subscribers accordingly. Based on the rules (e.g., prefixes or subscriber attributes provisioned on the DSP), the DCB charges the subscriber using the proper charging system. Last but not least, it is integrated with powerful partners, including Google, Apple, Huawei, Amazon, and many others.
How is DCB Different From Other Payment Methods?
The Direct Carrier Billing method often gets confused with other mobile payment methods. Unlike such methods as mobile wallets, premium SMS billing, and near-field communication solutions, DCB does not require a banking infrastructure or log-in phase. All it takes for users to complete a transaction is to type in their mobile phone number.
As a method designed to simplify purchasing processes, DCB stands out with its ease of use. Since it is directly linked to users’ mobile phone bills and supports many digital devices, this payment method is also highly accessible. Another differentiating aspect of DCB is that it enables a high level of payment security and leverages the subscribers’ trust in their carriers.
Designed as a one-click payment method that enables considerable simplicity for all parties involved, Direct Carrier Billing is a highly effective payment solution for use in online environments.
Advantages of Direct Carrier Billing in the Telecom Industry
Direct Carrier Billing enables many benefits for telcos, digital service providers, and users. As mentioned above, the foremost advantage of this payment method is its simplicity. It can be used conveniently by any mobile operator subscriber. Thus, Direct Carrier Billing allows digital service providers to expand into underbanked markets and reach a much larger number of users through its higher accessibility. By relieving them of the need for local presence, it helps them penetrate multiple markets simultaneously.
Moreover, it does not require users to provide critical personal data such as banking information. Nor do the users need to fill out forms, open accounts, etc. Therefore, it offers greater security, which is one of the primary reasons for its popularity in mature markets.
Furthermore, the seamless user experience and quick checkout experience provided by DCB results in decreased rates of abandonment at the point of purchase and potentially increased rates of conversion on the part of content providers. The fact that DCB is available for not only one-time purchases but also subscriptions is another benefit worth mentioning.
The Future of Direct Carrier Billing (DCB)
Direct Carrier Billing seems to have led to improved operational synchronization between mobile network operators and digital service providers, enabling them to achieve better results while offering a smooth experience to end-users.
As the global DCB market continues rapidly growing with the added impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, which led to a significant increase in digital content consumption and demand for digital purchases, it is highly likely to gain further momentum in the years to come. A comprehensive market research study conducted by Facts and Factors indicates that the global direct carrier billing market size and share revenue was valued at around USD 30.30 billion in 2021 and is expected to reach about USD 48.35 billion by 2028, with a CAGR of approximately 8% between 2022 and 2028.
In conclusion, the direct carrier billing market has yet to reach its peak, considering its advantages and many promising insights into short-term growth.
Resources:  Direct Carrier Billing Market Report