Convenience and speed encourage users to 'stick it on the phone bill'.
A survey of more than 2,000 UK and German smartphone users by MACH found a growing preference for charging payments to the phone bill rather than to cards or PayPal.
It disclosed that 29 per cent of those who have made app or in-app purchases prefer direct operator billing, against 18 per cent who prefer credit card payments and ten per cent who prefer debit cards.
Convenience and speed of use are the top reasons for choosing operator billing, with around 66 per cent and 50 per cent respectively citing these reasons.
And 19 per cent of smartphone users in the UK said that they might switch networks if their provider was unable to offer operator billing.
Michael De Jongh, head of sales, mobile billing and payments at MACH, said: “These results demonstrate that smartphone users are clearly demanding greater convenience where mobile payments are concerned.
"This presents a significant opportunity for operators and mobile content providers to differentiate themselves and offer a more compelling user-experience through direct operator billing. Deploying a frictionless purchase process has the potential to deliver greatly enhanced transaction completion rates, providing a real shot in the arm for the entire mobile content ecosystem.”
MACH is a payments giant with global connections, which is working on signing up various OEMs to carrier billing deals. It currently powers payments for Microsoft on WinPho devices, for example.