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30th June 2011
AIME and Premium Rate Services Regulator PhonepayPlus call for Government to review the micropayments sector
London 30th June, 2011 - AIME, the leading trade association for the fixed-line and mobile micropayment industry, today threw its weight behind the publication of a joint letter with premium rate services regulator PhonepayPlus, calling for Government to carry out a full review of the rapidly growing UK’s micropayments sector.
Culture Secretary (DCMS) Jeremy Hunt recently called for industry input in consideration of the Communications Act 2015, which will do much to shape the future UK digital economy, and AIME is stressing the importance of an appropriate regulatory framework, which encourages business growth and provides necessary levels of consumer protection.
Under the 2003 Act, the only micropayment platform recognised is Premium Rate, which is used to pay for numerous digital services including virtual gifts, gaming, TV voting and competitions. However a whole raft of regulation under multiple regulators now sits across the industry, while other forms of micropayment are out-of-scope, leaving consumers potentially vulnerable. The premium rate industry generates almost £1bn in revenues from fixed-line and mobile. However, it envisages that there will be a rapid growth of IP based services in the future, especially as social media has become so prevalent.
AIME continues to press for the following key points to be considered:
- The need for a review of all micropayment mechanisms, not just premium rate
- Assessment of the legislative framework to decide which services require formal regulation
- Regulation needs to be platform and technology neutral
Edward Boddington, AIME Chairman, stated “Now is the time to review all forms of digital micropayment and ensure that future legislation is technology neutral, and recognises that that the digital economy is increasingly international. The new Communications Act is the opportunity to enable a new digital economy, with platform-neutral legislation.”
Notes to Editor:
1. The AIME definition for micropayments is: “A payment facility for swift and convenient low priced purchases of physical and digital goods and services.”
2. AIME (www.aimelink.org) is a UK based membership organisation representing and promoting the commercial interests of the interactive media and entertainment industry – where customers use their phones, televisions or computers to access, interact and pay for information, marketing or entertainment services using leading edge micropayment technology.
3. AIME's membership represents the entire digital micropayments value chain – from the providers of end user content to the networks and technical services that deliver and bill them to customers. No other organisation can offer such opportunities for profitable contacts, networking and supporting information. By setting industry best practice standards, AIME builds solid and lasting relationships with legislators, regulators and stakeholders to ensure our members’ business is professionally represented and given every opportunity to grow.
4. Copy of the joint letter can be found here: Final-PhonepayPlus-Industry-Letter-30-June-2011.pdf