Telefónica Enables Customers to Charge Mobile Apps to Cell Bill

July 6, 2012

Global mobile network operator Telefónica yesterday revealed it has agreements in place with Facebook, Google, Microsoft and Research in Motion that will enable its customers to bill mobile payments made through those entities directly to their mobile account. The Spanish carrier will begin offering the service in Europe and plans to have the capability running in 14 other international regions by the end of 2012.

The company says the offering is particularly compelling in Latin America where 60 percent of the population does not have bank accounts and where direct carrier billing trials have been very well received. In Germany, where Telefónica already offers the service, the company says 400,000 users per month bill mobile purchases to their Telefónica account.

Under the agreements, the company says it will enable its customers to charge to their phone bill apps purchased through Facebook payments, the Google Play Store (which also will enable Telefónica to establish its own branded channel within the store), Microsoft Phone Marketplace and the BlackBerry App World store.