Telefónica and Telnor team up in the mobile payments space

Two global operator groups have joined forces in a bid to create a shared network API platform, offering operator partners and developers an opportunity to build and market apps to 460 million customers.

Norwegian operator group Telenor has signed up to become an equal partner to Spanish group Telefónica’s API platform, BlueVia. BlueVia allows developers to build apps and mobile web services that will run on its infrastructure and share the resultant revenue. The platform will focus initially on the area of mobile payments, enabling operators to charge apps and content to mobile customers directly through their bill when they make a purchase.

The two firms claim that the ease and convenience of direct to bill payments can help increase downloads of paid for mobile content and are extending an invitation to other global telcos to join them.

“From the beginning, BlueVia’s aim has been to gather scale and experiment fast on API business, not sticking to Telefonica’s footprint but opening our vision to a pure global ecosystem,” said Jose Valles, head of BlueVia.

Rolv-Erik Spilling, SVP and Deputy Head Telenor Digital Services, added: “We want our fellow telcos to understand the benefits of joining BlueVia in helping to monetise assets while simultaneously making it easier for customers to purchase content and application.”

Earlier this year, Telefónica announced that it had signed global, framework agreements with Facebook, Google, Microsoft and RIM to offer direct billing payments. In Germany, where Telefónica has already rolled out direct to bill payments, more than 400,000 customers on average per month are being charged via this capability.


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