Digital Payments Solution Aims To Facilitate Flexible Biz Models

Stephen Petheram, marketing director, MGt

Stephen Petheram, marketing director, MGt

January 18, 2011 ­ MGt, a leading supplier of Pay TV payment management solutions in Europe, is bringing a newly created “e-wallet” platform to the U.S. in hopes of capitalizing on content providers’ and other entities’ need for a consumer-friendly on-demand content purchasing solution in the over-the-top environment.

The prepaid and subscription payments management system, dubbed PayWizard, is intended to provide consumers a single entry point to online and physical media purchases, thereby avoiding log-in and credit card registration requirements with each supplier, says Stephen Petheram, marketing director at MGt. “We’re talking to big digital supplier factories, studios, mobile operators with app stores, TV manufacturers who have app stores, device manufacturers, even EPG (electronic programming guide) companies,” Petheream says. “In all cases, embedding PayWizard gives them a way to monetize more efficiently and with better understanding of consumer behavior.”

Critically, there’s a big customer relationship management capability behind PayWizard. “We’re not just another payment service provider,” Petheram says. “We do that, but another major piece is we’re helping to drive revenue through different business models by providing real-time information about transactions back to the merchant, broadcaster or service provider.”

This distinction leverages MGt’s 12 years of experience building enterprise-class backend systems that provide content and service providers comprehensive data about transactions, device types, user demographics, when purchases were made on a per-device basis, etc., Petheram says. “You know what someone has done elsewhere on a device,” he explains. “Such information allows our customers to market to consumers wherever they are and, with PayWizard, to allow consumers to make their purchases through a single-payment system.”

Many enterprises in the digital media sector are looking for such solutions, which are hard to build in house and can be very costly as standalone components that have to be integrated into existing billing and payment systems, Petheram notes. “What we’re finding is PayWizard is a good starting point for conversations about these needs,” he adds. “PayWizard gets us through the door, because everyone knows management of payments has to be the focus.

Customers have access to a Web-based dashboard that displays the transaction information and data on viewer behavior, all delivered in real-time. “If you know your customers, you can market to them, so the dashboard helps you optimize ARPU,” Petheram says. On the consumer side, PayWizard account holders can securely manage all their account details and preferences through the PayWizard Web site.

A key attraction, he adds, is the low per-transaction cost customers pay to PayWizard, which comes to under 10 cents in comparison to fees that can represent up to 30 percent revenue share on some small payment transaction services. PayWizard, with plans to open a U.S. office this year, is gaining early traction with broadcasters and content owners who want to offer premium content on mobile. “We have one customer, a sports content company with product online, who wants to be available on Android and iPhone,” he says.

MGt is also talking to Sony and other entities “with deep involvement in DECE (the Digital Entertainment Content Ecosystem consortium),” Petheram adds. “We definitely see a potential role for PayWizard with the UltraViolet digital locker.”