As the Web 2.0 phenomenon continues to change the way we interact, seek information and shop, the question of how online communities and retailers can make money from their efforts goes largely unanswered.
Consumers have proven their hunger for the digital services that Web 2.0 provides, such as games, social networks, dating sites, e-books and blogs, but are often reluctant to use their credit cards for payments of £5 or less - the hard-to-collect micropayments.
New mobile phone based online payment service OneBip has been designed to solve this problem and to meet the needs of both online retailers and consumers. It allows consumers to turn their mobile phone credit into money to be spent online, transforming any mobile phone account into a payment tool without the need for a credit card or bank account.
For merchants, OneBip provides an easy and effective way to monetise their online business. It offers the chance to diversify revenues, moving away from over-dependence on a single stream like the advertising-funded model that dominated Web 2.0 in 2006, and to make the most of the business opportunities now appearing online.
With OneBip consumers can purchase digital goods and services online from any merchant that accepts OneBip. The purchase is then securely processed and added directly to the consumer's mobile phone bill, or taken from their pre-pay credit total.
Over 20,000 consumers have made purchases and registered their OneBip account since its trial launch in early 2007. It takes only five minutes and costs nothing to register as a OneBip merchant, and as a result over 600 sites are already using OneBip to make money from their digital content and services.
OneBIP CEO Marko Maras comments: "It has always been hard for online retailers to collect micropayments on their websites and consumers have traditionally been reluctant to use their credit cards for small online payments.
"Consumers are increasingly comfortable using their mobile phones as a payment method, which will help to generate a high volume of paying and recurring customers. The worldwide penetration of mobile phones will also help to generate more profits for online retailers and allow them to attract a new range of consumers."
OneBip President Diego Mortillaro comments: "OneBip is designed to make mobile phone payments easy and affordable for online merchants while also offering security and convenience to the end users. Merchants can immediately accept mobile phone payments by adding the OneBip button to their site. This allows them to focus on their core business using a carrier class platform that assures compliancy with local regulations and Mobile Network Operators' requirements."