Carrier billing, which has not had significant adoption in the U.S., continues to grow globally, according to a new report. Carrier billing is an online payment method that lets consumers charge online purchases to their monthly mobile bill. According to Juniper Research, consumers will spend $74 billion this way in 2026—up from $54 billion this year.
In Carrier Billing: Opportunities, Challenges & Market Forecasts 2022-2026 ($), the U.K.-based consultancy said the biggest factor driving growth of the payment method will be gaming spend. About half of the spend on digital goods via carrier billing in 2026 will be on video games. The report noted the affect 5G cloud gaming and gaming subscription models will have on gaming transactions in general and how those things would affect the increase in carrier billing.
While digital goods are driving the payment method currently, Juniper said paying for physical goods via carrier billing is growing faster. The research predicted that physical goods spend will increase 270 percent over the next four years (albeit from a lower user base).
“[Physical goods represents] a significant new opportunity, with spend set to exceed $13 billion globally in 2026,” the report’s authors wrote. “[We recommend] targeting cross-border e-commerce vendors for partnerships, given their need to quickly onboard localized payment methods.”