The Fonix and O2 Digital Media Payment Models Event: Top 10 Takeaways


Last week we came together with O2 to co-host a breakfast event, ‘Digital Media Payment Models — Where Are We Now?’ Held at Heddon Street Kitchen, the morning featured some insightful talks, a panel debate and an abundance of bacon sandwiches.

Here are some of our favourite takeaways from the morning:

1. The digital wave has hit

Cornelia Calugar-Pop, TMT Insights Manager at Deloitte, highlighted that in Q4 of 2017, the New York Times had 2.6 million digital-only subscribers. This is double the amount that there was in Q4 of 2015, showing the importance of improving payment mechanisms amongst digital news media sources to cater to this increasing demand.

2. Know your audience

Ian Gray, responsible for channel & strategic alliances at MPP Global commented how important it is to have consumer data at the heart of business models. Companies should be experimenting to see what works for their audience, for example, testing what works best in terms of UX.

3. We want more video

Ian also pointed out that more than 50% of US Subscription Video on Demand households pay for multiple OTT video services. With the average monthly household spending on streaming video services increasing by 5% in 2017, consumers clearly want more video streaming services at the touch of a button.

4. A variety of content

Jimme Jardine, Co-founder of Jamatto, pointed out that one of the major challenges that the publishing industry faces is the fact that consumers are increasingly disinclined to show loyalty to one single paper: instead, they read content from multiple sources. Therefore, payment models need to be addressed to allow consumers to purchase a number of articles, as and when they need, from a range of papers — this could mean having a subscription for a period of time, rather than committing to full subscription from a whole paper.

5. All you need is a mobile phone

Microsoft’s Grahame Riddell commented that mobile operator billing means empowering the greatest number of people, because all you need is a phone to make purchases; and it can be any phone, even a Nokia 3310. People around the world may not have an alternative way to pay, but it’s likely that they will have a phone.

6. Easy

He also mentioned that mobile operator billing’s USP is its simplicity; customers already have an existing operator account, the payment flow is simple and unlike other mobile payments, there is no need to find wallet or type in credit card details — everyone knows their phone number!

7. It’s all about speed

Murray Findlay from O2 drew attention to the importance of a short payment journey which can be completed in seconds. Mobile operator billing has a significantly shorter payment flow than other payments, which means higher conversion rates and a reduction on cart abandonment.

8. Security matters

Murray also stressed that consumers don’t have to enter sensitive information, like credit card details, means that they have confidence in the security of charge to mobile — so much so that satisfaction levels are consistently above 83%. For O2, the result has been a 250% increase in the number of transactions over the past three years. This includes purchases on app store, music streaming, digital content and gaming among others.

9. Building a relationship with your consumers

Our CEO Rob Weisz drew attention to the power of mobile when it comes to making payments and also CRM to provide your consumers with the best possible service. The mobile number can not only be used to identify users to charge transactions to the mobile phone bill but also to send relevant notifications, service information, reminders and more.

10. Food!

As always, Heddon Street Kitchen put on a fantastic spread of pastries, bacon sandwiches and fruit which had us loosening our belts — we even had a few bits to bring back to the office!