by K. Samwell on September 11, 2007 in Game Developers Conference
If you don’t have a credit card, chances are you know how arduous attempting to make an online purchase can be. Bill2Phone caters to people like you, and also those who simply don’t want to use their credit cards online. We sit down with the Bill2Phone team to better understand what their services offer and how they work.
Kiersten: Does BSG charge the customer a fee to use Bill2Phone and are merchants charging additional fees to use your service as a payment option?
Scott: Absolutely not. In fact the pricing structure really works well for not just a twenty dollar purchase but works really well for microtransactions. So it can go either way, we can really adjust the payment structure to really fit the merchant. It’s something we want to see as a successful additional payment option so we’re not going to make it prohibitive.
Kiersten: So basically the phone companies pay you a type of royalty?
Scott: Again it’s like a credit card transaction so when the payments we receive from the phone company, we take our fee out and deliver the remainder to the merchant.
Kiersten: So if I set up a website selling custom t-shirts, can I as an individual offer Bill2Phone as a payment method?
Scott: You could offer t-shirts not as like the initial purchase, so if you wanted to have a subscription to a game, and as part of that you can buy a t-shirt that’s representative of the game, that would be fine, but just to sell t-shirts, it’s really not meant for hard goods. There are some associated hard goods that work out well, even if it was like a CD tack on to a game for example or and actual artist CD then that would be appropriate but selling merchandise is not something we’re doing.
Kiersten: But as far as integrating for the payment if you were selling a game or digital download?
Ann: Absolutely it’s easy to integrate, we have an API type of system, very simple integration it’s patterned after credit cards and what we have heard from the merchants who have worked integration is it is very easy to implement.
Kiersten: What games can I bill to Bill2Phone right now?
Ann: We haven’t done any press releases yet, we are working with a lot of game companies whose names I guarantee you’ll recognize, they’re very well known. Part of it has to do with development schedules, and getting things coordinated and rolled out, but keep watching as you’ll see announcements in the near future of recognizable game sites that are going to roll out Bill2Phone.
Kiersten: Are you looking at some of the older games or the smaller games that maybe only have 400 subscribers?
Scott: Absolutely we’re not only going after tier 1 customers, and the way I treat them all is just the same, especially in this space. I mean who would have thought that Second Life was going to happen? Who would have thought? We were talking about this last night and when it was released initially it was you in this big space. And now there’s a banking institution that wants to do real life dollars banking within Second Life, it’s out of control!
Ann: And here’s the thing with that too, our core business is, what we built our business on for twenty years, was being an aggregator, and when being an aggregator, you have to have a mix of big customers but you don’t want to hang all your eggs in a big customer basket, you want to have a diversified customer base where you have large medium and small customers to fill in.
We’ve done that very successfully with the traditional billing side, and we have the same business model in mind for Bill2Phone. We want those little guys to come to us. Our implementation is so simple it was designed so that they could do that and we are also hoping to work with some different types of payment service aggregators so they can access Bill2Phone through third parties as well.
Scott: And it really works out well for the smaller merchants. The bigger guys are going to be slower to adopt this and seeing smaller companies do it, they’re going to be more likely to do it. That’s one strategy we’re using, but at the same time if an early adopter smaller company decides to use Bill2Phone, it really gives them a competitive advantage because you’re trying to no eliminate any of your potential customer base.
Kiersten: Speaking of which, what about x-rated sites?
Scott: Because we’re dealing with the phone companies, they don’t want an image of any kind of adult oriented materials associated with their brands.
Ann: So if we have someone who comes in with their site, we’re an intermediary with the phone company and we say, ‘here’s what they’ve got, here’s how they market it, here’s the product’ and we help them get that approved. We know from past history they don’t want anything that’s too graphic or hard core, so we do tell our merchants that in advance. But who knows what the future holds.
Kiersten: Thank you all for your time!
It would seem the future is Bill2Phone! To find out more about BSG Clearing Solutions or Bill2Phone, visit their website at http://www.bsgclearing.com or read their pdf file on Bill2Phone: Payment Solution.
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