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New premium rate Registration Scheme reveals ‘one of the most vibrant’ PRS industries in the world

1 September 2011


A new Registration Scheme for premium rate telephone services (PRS) providers has revealed a diverse market and industry, attractive to international business and ranging from charities to cutting-edge creative companies.


The Registration Scheme is mandatory for all PRS providers operating in the UK market under the UK regulator’s, PhonepayPlus’ new Code of Practice, which came into force today.
 
The UK PRS market was worth £816 million in 2010 and the PhonepayPlus Registration Scheme has received wide industry support. There have been nearly 2,500 organisation registrations, with just over 10% of those (over 250) being companies registered overseas. Over 70 public limited companies have registered, with a strong showing from creative industries, including publishers, broadcasters and games developers. Over 120 charities have registered, following the successful introduction of charitable text donation.
 
PhonepayPlus’ Chief Executive, Paul Whiteing, thanked the industry for their support and said:

“What we are seeing in the diversity and dynamism of companies and organisations registering with us confirms what our own market research has suggested in recent years.
 
“The UK PRS market is an innovative sector of the UK economy and has significant potential for growth. The number of overseas companies on our database indicates that international businesses see real benefit in the UK PRS market.
 
“As micropayments continue to gain traction with UK consumers and grow in importance for the UK digital and creative economies, the Registration Scheme will give us the best overview of the PRS market and help us and the PRS industry provide the best environment for both consumers and business.
 
“I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of those who have registered and shown their support for the new Code. I would also urge all PRS providers operating in the UK market who have not yet registered with us to do so as a matter of priority.”
 
Rory Maguire, Head of Payment Services at mobile network, Three, commented:
 
“The premium rate industry in the UK is one of the most vibrant in the world and is the most successful micropayment facility for UK consumers. The PhonepayPlus Registration Scheme allows for growth in this industry by providing disincentives for rogue players and improving confidence to consumers.”
 
NOTES TO EDITORS:
 
1.     PhonepayPlus is the organisation (previously known as ICSTIS) that regulates premium rate services – the goods and services that you can buy by charging the cost to your phone bill and mobile pre-pay account. Further details of its work can be found at www.phonepayplus.org.uk
2.     To view quotes from various stakeholders in support of the new Registration Scheme, go to: www.phonepayplus.org.uk/For-Business/Registration-Scheme-Quotes.aspx
3.     If PRS providers have any questions about the need to register or about their responsibilities under the new Code, please contact PhonepayPlus’ Industry Services Team on 0845 026 1060*, or via email (compliance@phonepayplus.org.uk)
4.      For more information, contact the PhonepayPlus Press Office on (020) 7940 7440 or email pressoffice@phonepayplus.org.uk
 
 
*Calls provided by BT will be charged at up to 5p per minute. Mobile and other providers' charges may vary and are likely to cost more.