May 20, 2013, 9:04 AM

A mobile billing specialist buys a marketing firm

Payment firm Payvia is buying marketing firm Mogreet.

Lead Photo

Payvia's deal to buy Mogreet enables digital goods retailers to get mobile marketing and payments services from one vendor.

Digital goods retailers looking for one service that lets them send mobile marketing messages for digital goods and accept payment have a new option. Payvia, a company that provides mobile billing to a consumer’s wireless phone bill, is buying Mogreet, a mobile marketing firm, Payvia has announced. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Payvia has relationships with U.S. wireless companies, like Sprint and T-Mobile USA, enabling consumers to bill digital goods purchases they make on their mobile phones to their wireless phone bills. Mogreet helps retailers create text and multimedia marketing messages.

The big change for retailers using Mogreet’s services is that they can include a link in their messages that enables payment, without requiring consumers to type in a 16-digit payment card number, says Darcy Wedd, Payvia CEO. Consumers abandon a high percentage of transactions while shopping on the mobile web, he says. This could help stem that, he adds. The mobile cart abandonment rate is 97%, according to web marketing and analytics vendor SeeWhy.

In one example, a streaming video provider has just sent a multimedia message to a subscriber who has opted not to renew his video subscription. The message may include a short clip of programming exclusive to the provider. “We can distribute a short clip and at the end offer a renewal subscription,” Wedd says. That could appear as a button in the video.

A consumer would click the button and then confirm her mobile number using a Payvia mobile web page that opens on her phone. Because Payvia has deals with multiple wireless carriers, it can then check the number with the carriers to ensure it is valid. Once the carrier validates the number, the consumer authorizes the transaction and the purchase amount is added to her phone bill.

For Mogreet, the deal adds a service its clients have asked for, says James Citron, Mogreet CEO and co-founder. Now it can weave mobile payments into mobile marketing.

Payvia also gains access to Mogreet’s application programming interface, or API, that provides access to cross-platform mobile payments, rich media and video messaging, it says.

For now, both companies retain their separate brands and web sites, though Darcy doesn’t rule out some rebranding over time.

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