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'The absence of content filtering and age verification solutions in operator networks is a definite constraint to mobile market development.' - Juniper Research, November 2006

Mobile operators are anticipating massive growth in the m-payment market. But today, most transactions operators alone can support are 'micro-payments' aimed at the youth market. These often low-value transactions are usually debited from an m-wallet or are billed directly to a postpaid mobile account. With the availability of Upaid's Unified Payment Platfrom - UPP (formerly HiPAAS), mobile operators can participate in a much broader range of mobile transactions using the complete spectrum of payment instruments - from credit, debit and store cards to electronic funds transfers from a customer's bank account.

Payment applications such as Upaid's Text cheque™ enable mobile phone users to use their mobiles to pay everyday bills, further driving consumer dependence on the mobile and volumes of SMS traffic. Bill payment services using SMS also generate revenues from premium SMS as payment via text message often replaces the traditional cheque and postage stamp.

Merchant applications that will further fuel the exponential growth in traffic and operator revenues are all designed to be practical and easy to use for consumers and vendors alike. But for a mobile operator there are even more incentives...

The essence of success in the prepaid market is to simplify the process of top-up either at home or while roaming. Since the scratch card, there have been several great innovations for top-up, including electronic top-up at Points of Sale, ATMs and Web-based facilities - all giving the customer a greater choice of locations where air time can be bought. IVR schemes have also been launched whereby users can top-up from a pre-registered payment card by answering a few simple questions can.

Even easier methods exist using Upaid's HiPAAS: using a low-balance alert delivered by SMS, the end user can simply reply with a secret password and specify the amount of the top-up. The service can be offered to the customer by retailers, banks or directly by the network operator.

SMS top-up is an answer to challenges of reducing channel costs, eliminating user churn and increasing network usage of prepaid customers. The benefits of the user receiving a low balance reminder by SMS and being able to top-up on the move anywhere in the world provide operators with the best boost to revenues of any top-up scheme. Upaid's SMS-based top-up is cost effective, boosts ARPU, requires no CAPEX on the part of the operator as the service is offered on a pay-as-you-go basis.

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