Spending on digital goods via carrier billing to cross $74 bn

The spending on digital goods via carrier billing will exceed $74 billion by 2026 from $54 billion in 2022, according to a new study from Juniper Research.
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This growth of over 37 percent reflects the increasing relevance of carrier billing as an option for digital commerce spend. Direct carrier billing involves users charging payments for digital and physical goods to their mobile phone bill.

Gaming spend will account for just over 50 percent of digital goods spend via carrier billing in 2026. This dominance will be driven by accelerating monetisation strategies, including 5G cloud gaming and gaming subscription models.

Operator-billed carrier billing revenue attributable to digital goods will reach $11 billion globally in 2026 from $8 billion in 2022. The research identified the high costs per transaction as a limiting factor for carrier billing payments versus card and digital wallet payments, but identified operator reach as being a compelling factor.

“In the face of an accelerating digital transformation within payments, operators can be in the driver’s seat for reaching potential users, given their access to existing subscribers. Leveraging this subscription base is critical to accessing this potential revenue source,” Research co-author Nick Maynard said.

Physical goods spend will be rising at a rate of 270 percent over the next 4 years in carrier billing than for digital goods; at a rate of 270 percent over the next 4 years. Physical goods spend will exceed $13 billion globally in 2026.