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Mobile first mentality drives Direct Carrier Billing growth globally

The Direct Carrier Billing (DCB) industry will boom over the next three years, reaching an estimated $28 billion in global revenue by 2023, new research has found.

Carried out by Mobilesquared, independent analysis of the mobile payment method maps out user and revenue growth on a global scale – with the technology projected to reach 1.5 billion users in the same time period.

The findings show that the most significant consumer sector growth will be in mobile ticketing (mTicketing) and health and fitness, alongside in-demand sport content. By 2023 this will see 39% of smartphone users regularly access lifestyle and sports content, tickets, videos, news articles and more through DCB payments – with the number increasing from just 19% in 2018, and 26% today.

Ensuring in-demand content and services are available to all in a smartphonecentric format, with a payment method to match, unlocks this mobile opportunity. It also caters to a more exacting customer by providing improved communication and transparency throughout the payment process. Recent global events have accelerated this rise further.

DCB is now poised to hit the mainstream, having evolved from in-game purchases and ringtones to become the payment method of choice for the subscription services of some of the world’s biggest brands – with Spotify, the NBA and WWE just some of the global players already on board.

In the UK the technology is projected to reach $310 million in revenue by 2023, an increase of 26% from 2020 and $2.5 billion in Western Europe – an increase of 17%.

Direct Carrier Billing growth globally


The results of the report reaffirm the belief that the next three years will see carrier billing taking its place in the suite of established, household-name payment options, proving itself a worthy alternative to the likes of PayPal, ApplePay and credit and debit card purchase.

The findings also confirm that this boom won’t be confined to the purchase of mobile-only products and services, with revenue from mTicketing – the purchase of travel and event tickets via DCB – having the steepest forecasted growth rate of all the key sectors we examined.

key findings:

  • By 2023, 39% of smartphone users will be using Direct Carrier Billing (DCB)
  • This number is increased from just 19% in 2018, and 26% today
  • Direct Carrier Billing global revenues will grow to $28 billion by 2023 – an increase of 26% from 2020
  • In the UK the tech is projected to reach $310 million by 2023, growth of 26%
  • Sectors such as health & fitness, sports content, transport and events set for biggest increase
  • Africa and the Middle East are key growth areas
  • In Africa, DCB users are set to reach 130 million by 2023 – a 60% increase from 2020
  • In the Middle East revenue is set to rise by 30% to $885 million

“The past five years have seen mobile content become king, with mobile internet usage now accounting for 52% of web-page views around the world,” comments Chris Purdie, Group Commercial Director at PM Connect.

“While the current climate has presented undoubted challenges across industries, it has underlined the power of the smartphone for communication and payment. Mobile internet use has surged by 50% in some markets, as consumers look to their phones as the best way to stay connected to their favourite brands – coupled with an increase in organisations communicating to their audiences via SMS.

“Slotting neatly into this mobile ecosystem, DCB is a more universal way to pay – bypassing the need for long sign-up processes or inputting bank account details, alongside transparent direct communication. We hope this research demonstrates what an exciting time it is for our industry, proving it is a payment method on the cusp of hitting the mainstream.”

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