With the proposed T-Mobile/AT&T merger likely to conclude within a year, it's tough to predict which of AT&T's policies will stick, and which of T-Mobile's will hang around. Will Wi-Fi calling exist post-merger? Will direct carrier billing carry over? That's the latest initiative unveiled by the company, extending it to digital content and services.
The initiative is described as a nationwide purchasing program to provide customers the convenience of securely purchasing digital content and services from their web-enabled device. With Direct Carrier Billing, T-Mobile customers can charge online purchases of digital games, gaming and social networking credits, music, videos and other digital content offerings directly to their existing T-Mobile account right from the Web browser of their connected device – whether a PC, smartphone, netbook or tablet.
T-Mobile Direct Carrier Billing, which will initially utilize billing services provided by BilltoMobile, Boku, OpenMarket, Payfone, and Zong, simplifies the browse-to-purchase experience for consumers, eliminating the need to manually enter credit card information, and subscribers will be able to visit a wide variety of trusted online storefronts and merchant websites to make secure purchases and have those transactions appear on their monthly T-Mobile bill. As the new offering continues to expand, additional strategic billing service partners and content providers will be added to the program.
Payments that are processed using direct carrier billing will be secured and monitored by both T-Mobile and the billing service partners with extensive fraud controls, age-appropriate content blocking and spending limit management tools will be available to provide T-Mobile customer with a secure environment for purchasing premium content from trusted brands and merchants. In addition, a two-step customer authentication and purchase verification process will ensure a secure transaction.
It is expected to come into play later this month, and once available, T-Mobile customers will simply be presented with this option when purchasing online content from participating providers using their mobile device. While standard data and text rates apply, there is no additional fee for T-Mobile subscribers to use Direct Carrier Billing. T-Mobile customers may opt-out of Direct Carrier Billing at no additional charge by contacting T-Mobile's Customer Care.