TechCrunch is reporting that Mobile Payment startup, Boku, has widened their marketing strategy by launching an Android library to allow devs to build micro-payments right into their applications. Boku is unique in mobile billing in the fact that it does not require a user to have a credit card or paypal account. Instead, a user is able to approve the payment without leaving the app by authorizing a text message to be sent to their handset. Upon receiving the text, the user responds which authorizes the app to bill the user’s mobile carrier account directly.
This makes the purchasing process incredibly easy and transparent for the end user, as Boku takes care of all the billing and authorization work with over 40 carriers in 200 countries.
The downside for developers who are going to be using the Boku SDK as part of their app is the sometimes high fees that carriers are charging for allowing Boku to bill them directly. Some developers have reported that the fees can be as high as 50% of the in app purchase. Boku says they are committed to ramping up negotiations with carriers to lower these fees to a more reasonable level.
Despite the hurdles this method of billing has, it is encouraging to see that one of the major issues that developers have said prevent them from developing for Android is being actively worked on, making it easier for them to monetize their applications for the long term.
The SDK is available to devs now for download.