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Bango Extends Amazon Japan Carrier Billing

November 14, 2017

Bango’s (News - Alert) Direct Carrier Billing for Amazon is now available to Amazon Prime and Prime Student members in Japan. The mobile payments company rolled out the service to retail customers in Japan in June.

That allows people who buy goods and services over their mobile phones to be billed for those purchases on their phone bill. This is a widely accepted practice in Japan, according to Bango. In this case, those bills are provided by KDDI (News - Alert) and NTT DOCOMO, which serve about three-fourths of Japan’s mobile subscribers.

photo courtesy of BigStock

“Japan has always been a leader for carrier billing adoption, going back to the pre-app store mobile internet days,” Jack Ken and Ruomeng Wang of IHS (News - Alert) Markit wrote in a June 2017 brief.

They added that Japanese operators were early to bill for Google (News - Alert) Play when it began offering paid content in Japan eight years ago. And, they said, people in Japan have been using mobile payments for public transportation since the mid 2000s. 

Japan is an important market for Amazon. The ecommerce giant introduced a books service in the country 17 years ago. And in 2016, Japan was the third-largest country in terms of sales for Amazon, IHS Markit says, adding that the U.S. and Germany were first and second.

And September article on freshtrax says Amazon recently overtook Japan’s Rakuten as the leading ecommerce platform in the country, with 20.20 percent shopping mall website share (Rakuten had 20.1 percent). That same article suggests that shoppers in Japan most frequently use credit cards for purchases, followed by cash on delivery. Having payments listed as an add on to an internet or mobile bill is preferred by just 8.8 percent, according to the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications data cited in the article.

Edited by Mandi Nowitz