4 August 2009: mBlox, the world’s largest mobile transaction network, today announces the launch of its cross operator Free to End User (FTEU) message service in the US. mBlox’s FTEU service enables businesses to communicate with consumers using SMS text messages which are entirely free of operator charges to the consumer. This ground-breaking business model for the US mobile messaging industry allows content and service providers to absorb the cost of the messages on behalf of the consumer.

“The launch of a Free to End User service is significant because it unlocks a host of compelling new applications for SMS messaging,” said Brian Johnson, SVP Americas and APAC sales and marketing, mBlox. “This service has enormous potential for businesses to use SMS as another important tool to reach customers more effectively by changing the dynamics of messaging.”

Most US mobile subscribers pay network operator charges to send and receive SMS text messages, either on a pay-per-use basis or through a monthly message plan. Through this innovative FTEU message service, mBlox introduces the immediacy and intimacy of SMS to applications which have been dependent on other free-to-consumer channels, such as electronic or paper mail, for far less than the cost of a postage stamp. This initiative furthers mBlox’s ongoing campaign to champion transparent pricing models for consumers and follows mBlox’s recent UK announcement of the industry’s first cross-operator “sender-pays data” trial.

Initially launching on T-Mobile and AT&T, with plans to roll out to other mobile operators, mBlox’s FTEU message service has been extensively trialled by numerous mBlox clients serving the financial and mobile marketing sectors.

FTEU text messages are already being used in customer support activities at some of America’s largest financial institutions to inform customers of the status of credit applications, new account welcome messages and for after hours assistance. FTEU text messages are also used to alert customers of suspicious activity on their accounts and for payment reminders.

“Banks who use FTEU text messaging have reported up to a 117% improvement in collections over voice-only communications,” commented Alan Berrey, vice president, Market Development, Text and Mobile Messaging for SoundBite Communications, a leading provider of integrated multi-channel communications solutions. “They have also experienced more than a 10% reduction in collection roll rates and similar reductions in collection costs.” He continued: “Many of SoundBite’s clients are using FTEU text messaging, including six of the nation’s largest banks.”