The Continued Growth of Direct Carrier Billing in Asia

The Continued Growth of Direct Carrier Billing in Asia

by April 6, 2021

Asia is witnessing a paradigm shift when it comes to the payments sector. The Asian payments sector sector is oncourse to exceed $1 trillion in annual revenue by 2022-23. It is also rapidly undergoing changes with digital payments taking the centerstage, having received a fillip from the coronavirus pandemic and enabling people to shop online from the safety of their homes.

Of the common digital payments methods available today, including credit cards, bank transfers, e-wallets, QR codes, it is direct carrier billing (DCB) that has become popular rather quickly and holds a promising future.

Direct carrier billing refers to a digital payment method where customers can pay online using their mobile devices such as smartphones, tablets, and smart TVs that can connect to the internet. The service works seamlessly for both prepaid and postpaid connections, and the payment can either be deducted from the load in case of the former or added to the next month’s mobile bill for the latter.

Drivers of Growth

Asia Pacific Direct Carrier Billing Platform Market

Asia Pacific Direct Carrier Billing Platform Market, Inkwood Research

It is estimated that the Asia-Pacific direct carrier billing market will grow at a CAGR of 14.52% during the 2019-2028 period, with Japan currently leading the adoption of this mobile-based digital payment mode. One of the biggest reasons for the stupendous growth of DCB is a steady increase in the usage of mobile phones and smartphones in the region. India, China, and Thailand with their increasing smartphone penetration present businesses with a great opportunity to offer direct carrier billing.

In Asia, cash payments are generally preferred over credit cards, as plastic money is still perceived to be a symbol of western consumerism. For instance, in India only 2% of the people have a credit card, whereas the smartphone adoption is amongst the fastest in the world. This means businesses, especially startups, e-commerce players, small businesses and game developers have ample opportunities to tap a large customer base that does not use credit cards.

DCB will enable unbanked people to pay online

With an increase in cross-border ecommerce, a vibrant digital payments market in Asia has come to include numerous digital payments methods such as bank transfers, e-wallets, QR codes, credit cards, and debit cards. However, most of these payment options require a user to own a bank account.

Unlike these digital payment methods, direct carrier billing does not need a bank account and users can charge their payments to their mobile bills. This means direct carrier billing is a more inclusive online payment method and can allow a larger section of the underbanked and unbanked population of the region to engage in cross-border e-commerce.

Consumers want a secure payment option

Direct carrier billing continues to grow in popularity because it offers a convenient and seamless method to make online payments using a mobile device. Since payments made using DCB are more secure as compared to credit cards, consumers will prefer a digital payment method that protects them from fraud and online abuse.

With a large untapped customer base, Asia is a fertile ground for the growth of a secure, convenient, and more inclusive digital payment option such as direct carrier billing. Getting started with DCB is made easy with VIA OpenPlatform – your one-stop payment gateway solution to drive your business further in Asia.


Featured image credit: Photo by Porapak Apichodilok from Pexels

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