Skype strikes deal with Mach to expand direct carrier billing for credit purchases

Skype is always finding new ways of making it easier for users to spend money, and now it's extending its carrier billing options in a new deal with Mach. From October, more users than ever will be able to buy credit for the VoIP service then forget about it -- at least until the phone bill arrives. Purchases will initially be available through a web browser, but in-app functionality is expected in the future, although there's no word on exactly which network providers will be involved. We hope, however, that sometime next month, at least a few of those who enjoy Skyping on the move will appreciate sending the bill to their carrier.

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Skype Chooses MACH For Direct Operator Billing

MACH to enable new mobile payment option for Skype Credits globally

Luxembourg, 5th September, 2012 – MACH, the world leader in direct operator billing, announced today that it has been selected by Skype as the first vendor to deliver direct operator billing to new and existing Skype users in key markets across the globe, starting in October. The rollout will enable Skype to offer its customers a fast and convenient way to purchase Skype Credit, creating new revenue streams in existing markets, as well as in new markets where other payment methods have low penetration rates.

When the solution is live in October, Skype users will be able to purchase Skype Credits from desktop PCs and mobile devices, through browser-based purchases and in the future, through in-app functionality. Direct Operator Billing from MACH will enable Skype to bring a vital alternative payment method to these channels: Skype users will be able to charge their Skype credit to their mobile phone bill or pre-paid account, and enjoy the frictionless user experience gained from this payment method. Direct operator billing will also reflect the same price points as current payment methods, ensuring a consistent user experience.

Neil Ward, General Manager, Business Operations, Skype Division - Microsoft, commented: "MACH's strength in direct operator billing, as well as its heritage in delivering cloud-based communications solutions to over 650 operators, led us to select MACH as our first direct operator billing vendor. Delivering a strong user-experience has been at the heart of Skype's adoption by millions of users globally, and we want to extend this philosophy to the payment options we provide. We expect ease of payment to attract new users, while existing users will become more profitable customers as they increase their spend with us."

Morten Brøgger, Chief Executive Officer, MACH, added: "With MACH's Direct Billing Gateway, Skype has a far more flexible, secure and reliable billing solution than, for example, premium SMS. Our Direct Operator Billing solution also provides a great boon for the operators we work with by allowing them to enter the e-commerce value chain and start to win market share from the major credit card brands and companies, which have traditionally dominated the space. Being able to play in this value chain will be critical to raising operator revenues in the future and it's fantastic to have a high-profile merchant like Skype on board."

MACH's Direct Billing Gateway provides an operator billing service for mobile applications, content and mobile internet services, allowing providers to charge subscribers for services direct to their mobile phone bill or pre-paid balance. This creates a signficantly improved user-experience through the enhanced 'One-Click' purchase process and delivers greatly enhanced transaction completion rates.