Ericsson adds in-app payments to IPX
Allows developers to support a wider range of mobile commerce business models, boosting carriers' appeal
Published: 14 October, 2011
While NFC initiatives from carriers, Google and web players hit the headlines, one vendor is plugging away in the background to become a major presence in mobile payments. Ericsson has about 120 carriers using its IPX (Internet Payments and Exchange) service, a hosted platform which handles billing, merchant relationships and other back office essentials to underpin mobile commerce.
The latest addition to the below-the-radar system is an In Application Payment element. Using Ericsson's tools and wrapper technology, developers can create in-app payment capabilities, with mobile operators handling the billing. This will make it simpler for apps providers to support diversified payments models including try before you buy, rental or subscription approaches.
"The model can be applied to game levels, maps and digital content such as music, books and other in-application assets," Ericsson said in a statement. "For very small payments measured in cents, a virtual currency can be used."
Adam Kerr, head of Ericsson's M-Commerce business, said: "People are spending increasing amounts of time and money on applications. Research firm Ovum projects that revenues from paid mobile apps will top $3.7bn in 2011 and expects this to increase to $7.7bn in 2016. In order to reach these kinds of numbers, it's got to be easy for the consumer."
IPX is a key element in a critical Ericsson strategy to become indispensable to its carrier clients again, and reduce its reliance on hardware revenues. The Swedish vendor has positioned itself as a partner which can help carriers fight back against the bitpipe and derive commercial value from their networks. It provides a series of back end platforms which make it a mediator between the operators and all their various partners, as well as creating a broad multiplatform developer ecosystem.