The mobile billing company Boku and entertainment giant Sony now allow consumers in the U.K. to purchase content from Sony's PlayStation Store by adding the charges to their mobile phone accounts.

Payments can also be debited against a prepaid account.

Many companies originally used mobile-billing services for mobile apps and in-app virtual goods. With the Sony Entertainment Network, the same process can be used to purchase subscriptions to the Music Unlimited service and downloads of games, movies and TV shows.

The service can also be used to top-up a gamer's PlayStation account wallet. Though the same account is used to buy digital content on the PlayStation 3, the handheld PlayStation Vita and the upcoming PlayStation 4, Sony's instructions indicate only how to use Boku through a PlayStation 3 or a Web browser. Customers enter their mobile phone number and respond via text message to confirm the top-up.

"We are always looking at new ways to give our customers more choice in terms of content, accessibility and payment methods, and are pleased to be able to offer the option of mobile operator billing, which is becoming more and more popular," says Gordon Thornton, vice president of Sony Network Entertainment Europe, in a July 3 press release.

All major U.K. network operators allow carrier billing, the companies say.

Direct carrier billing has become a popular method of payment, especially in international markets. Boku partnered with Swisscom in May to bring the service to more than 60% of Switzerland's mobile market. And in June, Boku partnered with PlayJam to allow consumers to purchase games on smart TVs.

Bango.net Ltd., a Cambridge, U.K.-based mobile operator billing company, raised more than $10 million to expand its service into markets such as Latin America and Asia.

Microsoft's Skype also recently added direct carrier billing as a payment method.

Subscribe Now

Authoritative analysis and perspective for every segment of the payments industry

14-Day Free Trial

Authoritative analysis and perspective for every segment of the industry