Definition Edit

Carrier billing is a mobile payment option that allows a mobile subscriber to charge a good or service directly to its mobile phone account.

Overview Edit

This payment method offers many potential benefits for consumers who want to use their mobile phones to pay for goods and services and who prefer that the charges be placed on their phone bill rather than on a credit or debit card, for example. In fact, carrier billing may be especially beneficial for unbanked and underbanked consumers.

Carrier billing, however, can also raise concerns that the practice will be misused to charge consumers for items without their consent. This concern has been borne out in consumer complaints and other evidence indicating that in many cases consumers have not authorized charges that have been billed to their phone accounts.

In the charitable context, consumers have used text messages to donate funds to a charitable organization, such as in the aftermath of a natural disaster, with the charge placed on their mobile phone bill.[1] Additionally, consumers have made political contributions by sending text messages and having the charges placed on their mobile phone bills.[2]

References Edit

  1. See Aaron Smith, Pew Internet Project, Real Time Charitable Giving: Why Mobile Phone Users Texted Millions of Dollars in Aid to Haiti Earthquake Relief and How They Got Their Friends to Do the Same (Jan. 12, 2012) (full-text).
  2. Derek Johnson, "Political Campaign Text Message Donations — What You Need To Know," TATANGO (June 11, 2012) (full-text).

Source Edit

See also Edit

External resources Edit

  • Cary Stemle, "Direct Carrier Billing: The World's Most Popular Mobile Payment," Mobile Payments Today (Oct. 15, 2013) (full-text).