Carrier Billing Insights: An Interview with Digital Virgo

POSTED BY Chris Phillips

We sat down with Guillaume Briche, CEO of Future Digital Award winners Digital Virgo, to discuss the carrier billing market in detail.

Dario Calogero HeadshotDuring his various professional activities, Guillaume Briche has acquired several skills and specific knowledge in telecommunication and mobile payment. Experienced in business development in new countries, acquisitions and profitability, Guillaume Briche was appointed as the CEO of Digital Virgo in 2019.

Founded in 2008, the Digital Virgo Group is one of the world’s leading providers of mobile payment via Carrier Billing solutions. Its expertise is currently deployed in more than 40 countries by more than 900 people, for a 2021 turnover of €390 million.

What major trends are you seeing in the carrier billing market today?

The pandemic provided a powerful incentive to create a globalised payment network which quickly and directly affected the world of finance, including carrier billing. Online shopping has exploded, and mobile has become our preferred payment option.

Telecom operators are looking to take full advantage of this payment method and position themselves as the central point of digital convergence, while digital merchants want to increase their customer base and expand their business by responding to new consumer demands.

We are seeing mobile payments via telecom operators’ billing system expanding into more premium services and more universal verticals, such as mTicketing for everyday services like public transport. It is also experiencing a real boom in industries such as gaming – thanks to 5G, streaming and other digital services.

Thanks to its universality, global reach and internationalisation opportunities, carrier billing has become a real alternative in the global payment ecosystem.

What are the key challenges facing the carrier billing market today?

Customer satisfaction has undoubtedly become a priority for the entire industry and is at the heart of the challenges facing the main players in mobile payments. Regulation, security, transparency and customer service all share the common goal of improving customer satisfaction.

To meet this challenge, the role of the industry is to support, inform, facilitate and respond to the end user. Users are looking for transparency in all aspects of their lives, even more when it comes to financial and payment relationships. From visibility and understanding of the mobile operator's invoice, to the organisation and clarity of the customer area available online.

This point is closely related to the second major challenge of the market, which is the promotion and explanation of this payment method which is not yet well known at a global level. This is fundamental to consolidate carrier billing as a global alternative to make payments accessible to everyone in the most seamless possible way.

Another important challenge is related to the scalability of the business. Each country has numerous mobile operators, each with specific integration, so it is often important to be local as well as international. Being as close as possible to our clients will remain a priority for us.

How does Digital Virgo’s carrier billing solution mitigate the risks posed by fraudulent activity?

Fraud is a problem that affects all players in the ecosystem. Therefore, a powerful and comprehensive anti-fraud solution is essential to make carrier billing a foolproof payment process.

At Digital Virgo, we work with leading cybersecurity partners and integrate DCB Shield into our carrier billing platform. DCB Shield is a cutting-edge anti-fraud solution that protects the end user throughout their journey. In addition to investing in the most innovative technologies in the market, we ensure we operate a global ecosystem with trusted professionals recognised in the market and which further strengthens the security of the customer journey in compliance with all regulatory standards.

However, in addition to regulation and security standards, the entire ecosystem needs to work together to combat fraud and boost transparency. We must always keep in mind that in payments, trust is key.

How do you see the future of carrier billing evolving?

Thanks to rapid and massive changes in the economy, social conditions, regulatory landscape and technology, the carrier billing ecosystem continues to experience an absolute revolution. Numbers speak for themselves – the global direct carrier billing market was valued at $29.8 billion in 2019 and is projected to reach $70 billion by 2025.

With the explosion of eCommerce, international transactions offer enormous growth potential for merchants. We have entered a new world of cross-border commerce, where consumers expect easy, simple and secure payment solutions.

Direct carrier billing and other alternative payment methods, such as eMoney or wallets, are particularly relevant for facilitating international payments and bringing digital services to unbanked markets in Latin America, the Middle East and in particular in Africa.

These alternative payment methods are becoming a key driver for merchants to expand into new markets in an agile and secure way; positioning telcos as a key player in the global payment ecosystem.

How is Digital Virgo positioning itself to evolve with the market?

We expect to maintain and develop our leading position in the carrier billing ecosystem. To this end, we will continue implementing powerful monetisation ecosystems for telcos and merchants; addressing mobile payment in its entirety. Our aim is to make payments accessible to all in the most seamless way possible, always seeking to create more value and revenue for our clients.

We are now also focused on adding other locally essential alternative payment methods, such as eMoney, while offering our partners a range of value-added services and tools to make the most of carrier billing in a sustainable and evolving market. Our goal is still to address their ‘glocal’ (global and local) challenges and provide an innovative and secure payments ecosystem. We will continue to base our development on our global platform and an organisation that is as close as possible to the telecom operators and merchants through our 26 local and regional offices.

What makes Digital Virgo’s carrier billing solution different from others in the market?

In a complex and changing ecosystem, Digital Virgo offers an innovative technical solution to Telcos with DV Pass. It is a robust and scalable platform that optimises the payment process by providing global support for merchant connections and transactions management.

Beyond a payment platform, DV Pass is a business growth solution with dedicated local teams and managed services.
Every day, we strive to position telecom operators at the heart of digital convergence; offering them a range of value-added services and tools to generate more revenue from carrier billing in a sustainable and evolving ecosystem.

What differentiates our carrier billing solution is our approach to mobile payment in a transactional way, but also in terms of the customer journey, considering strategic aspects such as adapted content, data management, financial optimisation ... and sometimes we go even further and help merchants promote their service. We bring a real additional expertise in digital marketing (over €100M of media buying per year) that enables us to attract new users to merchant services and boost their revenue, as well as those of the mobile operators.

Overall, we support our clients to make the most of mobile payment.

►  Find out more about Digital Virgo

Visit the Digital Virgo website for more details about their carrier billing products and services.


► Carrier Billing Market Research

Our latest research found:
  • End-user spend via carrier billing will increase to $73.8 billion in 2024, growing 36% from 2021
  • The Indian Subcontinent is a key target region for carrier billing stakeholders over the next two years, with smartphone penetration expected to reach 50% by 2024
  • Carrier billing spend on digital ticket purchases will grow by 250%, from $141 billion in 2021 to $275 billion in 2024
FIND OUT MORE: Carrier Billing: Opportunities, Challenges & Market Forecasts 2022-2026