Apps are coming in a big way to your Internet-connected television, or Smart TV, pretty soon. And Boxpay will be there to help you buy them. It will do so by setting up a way for you to make purchases on your smartphone touchscreen and billing it through your phone carrier.
The idea is to use the convenience of paying via mobile phones to lower the friction that gets in the way of Smart TV app purchases. Buying apps on Smart TVs is still a nascent activity, but it is expected to grow as hundreds of millions of Smart TVs are sold each year. Boxpay showed its system off at the Casual Connect game conference in Seattle this week.
Boxpay’s software development kit (SDK) works with Google’s Android operating system, which is becoming more and more popular in Smart TVs. The problem is that registering online to make a purchase is a hassle, and nobody really wants to enter a credit card number into a TV set, particularly when the input device is a remote control. Boxpay gets around that hassle by allowing you to simply type your phone number on your smartphone’s touchscreen. Then you can verify and pay for your online purchases or in-app commerce via text message.
“It’s quick and convenient,” said Iain McConnon (pictured right), co-founder of Boxpay, which is based in Dublin, Ireland with offices in San Francisco. “We feel this is the start of something big.”
Makers of TVs, Smart TV app developers, and Android app creators can integrate the SDK into their systems quickly and easily. This opens the market for Smart TV apps to more consumers, including those who don’t have credit cards or won’t put up with the hassle of entering their card data.
Boxpay customers can make a mobile payment using carrier billing since Boxpay has relationships with 280 carriers in 65 countries. Boxpay is now looking for both Smart TV manufacturers and app developers.
“We are still in the early days of Smart TV,” Gavin McConnon said. “But the vendors are interested.”
The McConnon brothers have been around for a dozen years running a ringtone company and direct-to-consumer business in Dublin, Ireland. Two years ago, Iain and his brother Gavin (pictured left) started Boxpay and began working on their mobile payments system. They launched it in January and are now making the SDK widely available. They have 1,500 merchants using the system.
Rivals include Zong (part of PayPal) and Boku.