The four UK mobile networks — including Everything Everywhere, O2, Vodafone and 3 UK — agreed to jointly roll-out direct operator billing to make it easier for subscribers to pay for apps and other online goods. The deal has it that the companies will share a billing platform provided by MACH, which will act as an intermediary, making it easy for developers to enable mobile payments. Consumers on their end benefit from the faster transaction process that doesn’t require the use of credit cards or other payment methods. Finally, merchants get real-time charging, flexible pricing points and direct refund capabilities.
The MACH Direct Billing Gateway includes support for Everything Everywhere, Vodafone and 3′s Payforit Version 4 scheme – and O2′s Charge to Mobile platform. In-app billing capabilities will be introduced on the platform soon.
UPDATE: The story we picked up from MobileBusinessBriefing was inaccurate. This is not a joint operator roll-out and operators are NOT sharing a billing platform.
MACH is not providing a billing platform, but a direct operator billing service, the MACH Direct Billing Gateway. Rather, operators are rolling-out Payforit v4, a regulated UK mobile micropayment scheme, created and supported by all of the UK mobile network operators. MACH is interfacing with the billing platforms of the operators to support this through the MACH Direct Billing Gateway.