Largest Ever Survey of Digital Subscriptions – 78% Don’t Want Fixed-Term Subscriptions

90% of consumers state the ending of a subscription to a service should be entirely their decision.

5th August 2021: Research of 1,000 consumers, commissioned by aimm in June 2021, observed that 93% described the process of signing up to a subscription to be clear and transparent. Just 1.5% of consumers found themselves subscribed to a service that they didn’t want. Unsurprisingly then, 90% of consumers felt that they alone should be responsible for choosing when to end their subscription, and 78% don’t want to sign up for a fixed term.

The research found that when it comes to digital subscriptions, regulation should guide consumer behaviour, but not be an imposition.

The current regulations already require robust consent, so any new regulations that impose stricter criteria will automatically discriminate against subscribers who are passively happy. The natural suspicion of consumers to click on links to renew a subscription means that services, including charity fundraising, will suffer, should this become a requirement.

The recommendation from the research, which asked about consumers’ preferences regarding reminder messages and length of subscriptions, is that for monthly subscription services a reminder message should be sent every month for the first 3 months, then once a quarter following that, with an additional service summary sent annually.

Joanna Cox, General Manager at aimm said “We wanted to ask consumers what they wanted when it came to digital subscriptions. The results of the research overwhelming show that the current regulations provide enough security for consumers and if anything they’d like to be contacted even less than they currently are.”

Over 97% of consumers felt that an annual service summary, that was for information only and did not need to be acted on, would be beneficial. Consumers now think of digital subscriptions as long term and not in 12-monthly timeframes. This is backed up by the fact that 75% have subscribed to a service or donation for over a year.

“We want to make sure that consumers are protected and feel safe using mobile subscriptions to sign up to services or donate to charity,” said Neil Johnson, Chairman at aimm. “However, we also want to make sure that we don’t create regulations that are too stringent, that actively dissuade consumers from signing up to quality subscription services, or mean that they are inadvertently cancelled. Too much unnecessary regulation risks damaging the consumer experience and the subscription business model; a model which creates a convenient way for users to pay for services they enjoy.”

 

Details about the research

Research was commissioned via Mobile Squared during June 2021. This research asked a panel of 1,000 unbiased people about their experiences, with the expectation that this would provide a meaningful insight into the world of those with a passive happiness with the service they receive. The panel was evenly split by age group, gender and location, to ensure a fair cross-representation of society.

Whilst recognising there have been challenges with phone-paid subscriptions in the past, these have now largely been resolved. This research addressed the experiences of those with a passive happiness with their subscription; the silent majority of people now using phone-paid subscriptions without concern.

aimm is at MEF Connects – Digital Transformations

aimm will be speaking at MEF CONNECTS – Digital Transformation on the 26th May discussing Trust in Payments at 11.00 am

From Tuesday May 25th to Thursday 27th MEF will host its third online event this year MEF CONNECTS Digital Transformation. Over the 3  days you will have the opportunity to get a better understanding of Mobile Identity and Authentication, Direct Carrier Billing [DCB], Mobile Wallet, Mobile Advertising, Conversational Commerce and much more.

Don’t miss out on aimm’s session on the Tuesday discussing trust in Payments alongside EE and Mastercard.

 Sign up for free now!

New Board members announced

Throughout February we were accepting nominations from members to join the aimm Board.

We had 6 positions available and received 4 nominations from candidates so there is no need to go to a vote. This means we are able to announce our new Board members to you now.

  • Naomi  Hone – EE
  • Ana-Rosa Broster – Telefonica

We are also pleased that two members of the existing Board decided to re-stand and will continue to serve on the Board:

  • Rob Weisz – Fonix 
  • Alan Partington – Telecom2

You can learn more about our new Board members from the Candidate Information sheet.

Please join us in congratulating them, and we look forward to working with them, when they officially start their new roles on the 1st April. They will now hold their seats on the Board for the next two years.

 

 

Photo by Patrick Fore on Unsplash

aimm launches new consumer information site PhoneCharges.org

Today is a really great day, as we launch our brand new consumer-facing website PhoneCharges.org.

Consumers needed a better way to investigate unknown charges on their phone bill, identify who charged them, and resolve their query as quickly as possible, and this is why PhoneCharges.org was born. In its simplest form, the site will signpost consumers to their own network’s number checker or to the PSA’s service checker to quickly identify who has charged them and obtain their contact details. It also contains basic information around what phone-paid services are, why consumers may have been charged, when refunds may be due etc.

PhoneCharges.org will provide users with links to the relevant pages of their mobile networks’ website or to the Phone-paid Services Authority Number Checker so that they can find out quickly where any charges have come from. Additionally, it will provide easy-to-understand information about how phone-paid services work, why users may have charges on their bill and when a refund may be due. It will also provide topical news stories from within the industry which will help consumers understand the types of services that use charge-to-mobile billing.

The website is funded by aimm and its membership, but has been built free of charge by The Cute Group who have a wealth of experience in handling customer queries in this area.

Andrew Fisher, CEO of The Cute Group said ““When aimm approached The Cute Group with a concept to help consumers navigate the maze that is the phone-billed services industry, we knew immediately it had our name on it. As a leading UK player supporting digital services for brands, publishers and content owners, Cute has rich experience understanding the kinds of queries, frustrations and confusion consumers face – and how to resolve them helpfully, and with as little fuss as possible.  We are excited to partner with aimm to bring PhoneCharges.org to life, building the site itself and contributing our experience to support the project as a whole.”

Joanna Cox, General Manager of aimm said “More often than not, queries about phone-paid services are due to a lack of post-purchase information and consumers end up complaining to the regulator who are unable to resolve specific cases. PhoneCharges.org is there to help consumers get the information they need and solve their queries as quickly as possible.”

We hope this site can help consumers better resolve any issues they have, increase their confidence in phone-paid services and, ultimately, create the conditions for growth in our industry.

Rupen Patel joins Dynamic Mobile Billing

Dynamic Mobile Billing appoints Rupen Patel as Head of Sales and Marketing.

Rupen brings a wealth of experience, with a career that spans over 20 years, including his time as Product & Lead Commercial Manager at mobile operator Three UK, as well as previous industry experience gained at Telefónica and Mobile Ecosystem Forum (MEF).

DMB CEO Kev Dawson comments on the appointment: “Rupen joins the UK Management team at an exciting growth time for the business.  We are seeing new revenue growth opportunities across both existing and new sector clients and Rupen offers extensive experience and capability to help drive DMB UK offerings in these areas.”

Rupen adds: “I’m delighted to be joining DMB at this promising time and hoping my experience can directly contribute to the mutual success of both myself and the business.”

Rupen started his career in the Media & Advertising sector, including stints at ITV, Channel 4 and WPP covering Sales, Business Development and Account/Client/Product Management.  He’s worked across all the major Media Agency groups and managed a portfolio of clients that included BT, Vodafone, Unilever, Mars, Procter & Gamble and GlaxoSmithKlein

At Three UK, Rupen was initially hired within the Payment Services team and was responsible for managing both Direct Carrier Billing & Premium Rate Services. For the last 20 months his focus has been solely on managing and growing the Premium SMS and Voice business working within the Wholesale Team.

As DMB are a member of aimm, we look forward to working with him, and hope to see him at the working groups.