Voice over IP takes another step toward the mainstream as Skype announces a new mobile payment option for call credit. Skype users can purchase Skype Credit from their mobile devices in a browser-based transaction that is described as “secure, seamless and convenient.” Users can pay for this transaction either as part of their monthly cell phone bill if they have a contract, or instantly if they have a pre-paid account balance with their carrier.
The service is initially available in Russia, though will be coming to the U.S. and Canada soon. MACH is the company behind the service. Described as “the world leader in direct operator billing,” MACH has partnered with payvia, a mobile and online payments company, to connect its direct billing gateway with U.S. mobile operators.
By allowing users to add Skype Credit anywhere, the service makes it possible for users to make calls to other telephone numbers over the Internet at any time, completely sidestepping operators. As services such as this one offered by MACH make mobile VoIP more convenient, along with apps such as Facebook Messenger that replace text messaging, operators are seeing an increasing number of users move away from the traditional model of phone calls.