Feeds

Skype inks deal to tack payments onto your mobile bill

VoIP operator becomes even more OTT

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

Microsoft's VoIP operation Skype has signed a deal with MACH linking customers' Skype accounts and their mobile bills, allowing them to bypass credit card firms and PayPal when they cough up their payments.

The deal won't see Skype minutes on mobile bills, but it will enable customers to buy Skype minutes using the mobile or desktop Skype apps, and then have the cost added to their mobile-phone bill or deducted from their pre-paid account rather than having to pay with a credit card or PayPal account.

That's accomplished thanks to billing-specialist MACH, whose servers integrate with network operators around the world to create billable events – exactly which operators and where they're based the company isn't saying, only that deployment will start in October. For post-paid mobile that's relatively easy – the line item is just added to the bill – but with a pre-paid account the money has to be deduced in real time, which is a little more complicated.

The majority of Skype users don't pay of course; video and audio calls to other Skype users are free and Skype's peer-to-peer nature makes them cheap to provision. Skype's revenue, such as it is, comes from those who pay for the ability to call normal phones, and some embedded advertising, but making it easier to pay is always desirable.

Currently Skype accepts the usual range of credit cards and PayPal, as well as bank transfers which can take several days to process but are cheaper for the VoIP outfit to process.

Taking money from a mobile account will probably be a little cheaper than doing so from a credit card. MACH will still want a cut, but not a large one, but more importantly it will make it easier to pay for Skype even if you don't have a credit card or bank account.

If Skype is going to be better integrated into Windows Phone handsets, and challenge the role of mobile operators as providers of voice telephony, then billing integration was a necessary step, and one which is now possible assuming the operators permit it.

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Brit telcos warn Scots that voting Yes could lead to HEFTY bills
BT and Co: Independence vote likely to mean 'increased costs'
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
New 'Cosmos' browser surfs the net by TXT alone
No data plan? No WiFi? No worries ... except sluggish download speed
Radio hams can encrypt, in emergencies, says Ofcom
Consultation promises new spectrum and hints at relaxed licence conditions
Google+ GOING, GOING ... ? Newbie Gmailers no longer forced into mandatory ID slurp
Mountain View distances itself from lame 'network thingy'
Vodafone to buy 140 Phones 4u stores from stricken retailer
887 jobs 'preserved' in the process, says administrator PwC
Bonking with Apple has POUNDED mobe operators' wallets
... into submission. Weve squeals, ditches payment plans
Drag queens: Oh, don't be so bitchy, Facebook! Let us use our stage names
Handbags at dawn over free content ad network's ID policy
Comcast exec: No, we haven't banned Tor. I use it. You're probably using it
Keep in mind if, say, your Onion browser craps out on Xfinity
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.