aimm response to PSA announcement (future of phone-paid services)

While we are surprised by this announcement, (regulatory responsibility will transfer from the PSA to Ofcom in late 2023) coming less than a month after the launch of a new Code of Practice, we do understand the reasons that have been put forward for the absorption of the PSA into Ofcom.

Huge progress has been made through collaboration across Industry and ongoing communication with the PSA – in particular the ability to liaise with the regulator on highly technical matters – and we look forward to continuing this relationship with Ofcom.

As the transition develops, we will continue to work with our members to ensure that they are consulted and able to input into the regulatory changes at every stage. In building a new relationship with Ofcom, we are keen that we can help refine further a regulatory landscape that is proportionate and allows for innovation and opportunity in our changing market.

For full details regarding the announcement by the PSA on their merger with Ofcom please see their press release.

The future of phone-paid services

 

The Phone-paid Services Authority, the organisation which regulates premium rate services, and Ofcom have announced today that regulatory responsibility will transfer to Ofcom in late 2023, subject to further DCMS approval. From that point, the PSA would cease to operate as an independent body.

This proposed transfer of regulatory responsibilities has been approved by the Ofcom board.

For full details of the story please visit the PSA website: The Future of Phonepaid services

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.

mGage delivers a world-first Mobile Payments within RCS Messaging solution

mGage delivers a world-first Mobile Payments within RCS Messaging solution to offer a conversational commerce channel

London UK, 1 September 2020 – mGage, a leading global mobile messaging provider, today launched the first-of-its-kind solution to bring Mobile Payments within the Rich Communication Services (RCS) channel. This advanced and pioneering technology creates a seamless and richer experience for customers while delivering a strong ROI for brands. By leveraging the high engagement rates of RCS and the increased conversion rates of mobile payments it provides a ground-breaking solution within one platform.

By working closely with UK Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) and the Phone-paid Services Authority (PSA) – the UK regulator for content, goods and services charged to a phone bill – mGage has inaugurated its industry-leading, innovative solution that marries the proven capabilities of RCS and Mobile Payments into a single industry-compliant solution.

With this ground-breaking solution, RCS is now a truly conversational commerce channel that brings innovative and new ways for brands to monetise their services and allow for purchases to be made seamlessly within the RCS messaging app,” said Nick Millward, VP Europe at mGage. “By working closely with UK Mobile Operators and Regulators, charities and enterprises alike now have access to a game-changing solution that will enable them to offer fast and seamless payment journeys for additional services without compromising on the customer experience.”

According to ITProPortal, mobile commerce is forecast to account for 53.3 percent of the total commerce value by 2021. Enterprises need to seriously consider solutions that allow customers to make quick and easy payments without the need to push consumers to other applications as 80 percent of consumers admit that they would abandon online payments if pushed to another site.

By bringing together RCS and Mobile Payments, end-users are now able to purchase on-demand subscription services, make charitable donations and enter competitions in a seamless and quick way. With in-built brand verification within RCS channels, consumers also have peace of mind knowing who the message is from.

With this latest capability of RCS messaging, brands are able to achieve a strong return on investment with conversion rates seven times higher when compared to the manual input of credit card details. With RCS messaging already achieving nationwide rollout across the UK and the US, organisations of all sizes will soon be able to adopt this next-generation solution and monetise their services.

To find out more about the solution and to request a demo, please visit: mGage RCS & Mobile Payments.

PSA gives update on Business Plan and Budget

On the 27th March, the PSA provided an update on their site for their Business Plan and Budget that they initially announced to industry in December.

You can find the updates on both their consultation statement and the final document on their consultations page. They have also included all the responses received from across industry for this, which includes aimm’s response on behalf of our members.