Top 10 Takeaways from the Fonix and Vodafone Mobile Billing and Messaging Event


On Wednesday 28th June, a host of tech lovers came together for a mobile billing and messaging extravaganza. Held at Gaucho Piccadilly, our guests enjoyed a roof terrace, spectacular decor and some even more spectacular Argentinian food.

With presentations from Comic Relief, Viker, ITV and tastecard, attendees learned just how important a role mobile billing and messaging play (and will increasingly play, as the industry grows) across so many sectors.

Here are the 10 top takeaways from the event:

#1 SMS donations are more popular than phone call donations

People consistently opt for SMS donations over phone call donations. Kat Heath, Product Manager for Mobile Payments at Comic Relief told us how on Red Nose Day 2017, 75% of people donated via SMS.

#2 Using SMS as a donation mechanic generated staggering results

During Comic Relief 2017, £9.5m was raised via text-to-donate on live night alone — in the space of just 6 hours!

#3 The benefits of SMS CRM

Kat also highlighted how great SMS CRM is for optimising key elements of the donation process, such as Gift Aid; the uptake of a reminder message to SMS donors, asking them to go to a mobile site to complete Gift aid declaration has been extremely successful.

#4 It’s all about choice

Ben Cusack, the founder of Viker explained that introducing Carrier Billing to a service isn’t about replacing current payment methods, it’s about giving consumers the choice to pay how they want to pay.

#5 Consumers want convenience

Ben also commented upon how when it comes to impulse purchases, Carrier Billing is the most convenient payment method; only a couple of taps or clicks are required to complete a payment.

#6 Consumers can interact with their favourite channels without even watching TV

Paul Gill, Director of Commissioning, Commercial and Operations at ITV Interactive suggested that SMS CRM means (and will increasingly mean) less reliance upon on-air activity, as so much can be done via SMS or online. The example that he gave was promoting certain interactive competitions which could be done completely off-screen.

#7 We’ve come a long way

Paul talked about the evolution of a business like ITV that has gone from telephone numbers as the sole route of interactivity for viewers 20 years ago through to a range of interactive solutions. These still include telephony, through to SMS, carrier billing and in-app engagement.

#8 A frictionless experience

Michael Kalli, Commercial Director at tastecard, mentioned how Carrier Billing provides consumers with faster and smoother customer experience. It allows their business to stay relevant and flexible through product innovation, so users won’t encounter any sudden changes.

#9 Security is key

He added that it’s not just about the speed and ease of the process — consumers also love Carrier Billing because it’s so secure. People don’t like parting with personal information and it’s reassuring that all that is needed for Carrier Billing is a mobile number.

#10 People love a mobile competition

We thought we’d shake up the event a little by offering guests the opportunity to enter our own mobile competition. Guests were in with a chance of winning our bundle of tech goodies, texting in their answers to the question “How much did Red Nose Day raise on live night via text-to-donate?”. The winner was drawn shortly after 9pm via our Winner Picker product.

Left to right: Rob Weisz, our CEO and Costa Georgiou from ITV (the winner of the competition)

A huge shout-out to everyone who attended and a special thank you to our speakers. Photos from the event are available on our Facebook page — go check them out!