When it comes to charging for mobile apps, payments usually have to go through either the carriers or one of the emerging mobile app platforms such as Apple or Google’s Android. The problem with charging for an iPhone app through iTunes is that Apple takes 30 percent. A startup called Billing Revolution wants to charge about one tenth as much for a seamless, mobile one-click shopping experience. Already available on other phones, Billing Revolution is announcing availability today for iPhone, BlackBerry, and Android apps.
Once a consumer signs up to pay for things through Billing Revolution, he is presented with an Amazon-like one-click payment option no matter what app is using it. (Didn’t Amazon patent that?). Billing Revolution charges a 3.5 percent transaction fee plus 50 cents per transaction.
That pretty much kills any app developer using it for micro-transactions. Nobody is going to sell a digital song for $1.00 if they need to pay Billing Revolution 53.5 cents. But it could become an option for larger purchases, and as a way to charge for premium subscriptions for apps that build adoption with a lighter-weight free version.