Existing mobile payment providers, like Zong and Boku use premium SMS messages to conduct payments. A user initiates a payment online, sending a yes/no payment option to their phone to which they must respond or displaying a pin number to text in. Additional confirmations are sometimes needed. This multi-step flow has many failure points, as customers have time to think twice and spotty service can prevent SMS transmission.
PayFone intends to bypass these issues by conducting transactions over the secure inter-carrier network which allows carriers to pass customers back and forth when they travel. This system, designed for billing, removes the need for text messages and intends to facilitate new pricing models in addition to current fixed-price and subscription options. PayFone payments will reportedly be easy to distinguish from other charges on a user’s phone bill, improving the credibility of an industry known for complex and sometimes deceitful billing practices.