A mobile payments vendor
has launched what it says is the answer to the most bedeviling
issue confronting retailers: transactions abandoned due to the
frustrations of having to input card details via a phone handset.
Charles Davies looks at Billing Revolution’s


A Seattle-based company –
Billing Revolution – is rolling out a service that lets consumers
make purchases with a mobile phone without having to enter their
payment card details every time.

In what Billing Revolution
claims to be the first app-to-app connection for payments, an
m-payments app can “call” the Billing Revolution app and retrieve
stored payment information instantly to complete the

For consumers to use it,
however, merchants will have to support it. The service is being
endorsed by Citi Bank and builds on a mobile web browser checkout
service that Billing Revolution has already been selling to
merchants for the last three years.

Users can download the app,
sign up with their credit card and enter as many accounts as they

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The app doesn not require a
PIN, meaning that it is quite easy to make a purchase with a

Billing Revolution uniquely
identifies the user’s handset, authenticates it and enables it to
pass the card information to any merchant through whichever payment
gateway they are using.

Billing Revolution identifies
more than 30 specific attributes of a given handset in order to
create a unique signature for each customer.

“If you are shopping with an
app, it ‘calls’ out to our app, and a dialogue box pops up, asking
you if you want to pay. You then hit a button and we fade away,”
says Andy Kleitsch, Billing Revolution’s CEO.

“You don’t have to go to a
website and create user names and passwords and all of that. If you
click the ‘Remember Me’ button, you have a one-click payment
ability across the entire internet.”


Easy on

Billing Revolution does not
charge merchants to sign up. Instead the service takes five cents
for every transaction under $5 and ten cents for every transaction
over $5. And according to Kleitsch merchants can integrate the
service as a payment option into their mobile applications with
just four lines of code.

By simplifying the checkout
process, Kleitsch says Billing Revolution encourages more mobile
commerce consumers to complete purchases.

And by tying the service to
card accounts, it provides a way for banks to capture more
transaction volume.

Kleitsch says that for
first-time users Billing Revolution is experiencing conversion
rates of around 20% – far higher than the industry average of three
to four% for new visitors to an e-commerce site. Once users are on
the system, conversion rates soar to 72%, he says.


Citi paying

Billing Revolution caught the
attention of Citi, which is providing marketing dollars to sponsor
the service, and giving Billing Revolution a huge consumer and
merchant base to market the service to. This will be important as
the firm readies its consumer app for launch in the near

The system, which is
available initially on the Android operating system, will
eventually be made available for app developers on Windows Mobile
and Apple’s iPhone operating systems.

It also includes a separate
app that consumers can download to manage their payment

Users add their card account
numbers, mobile phone number and billing information the first time
they use it. The information remains encrypted in the programme,
allowing for one-click purchasing after the account is set

Consumers who have not
downloaded the app on their phones can still use it via a mobile
web page.

However, Kleitsch’s goal is
to keep consumers within the app, which typically results in higher
transaction rates.

“An easy checkout experience
is critical for the adoption of mobile commerce,” Kleitsch

“Single-Click Checkout is a solution for all merchants who
want a secure, easy-to-use mobile wallet without the hassle of
creating multiple user accounts and entering verification
information with each purchase.”