60/714,978 entitled "AUTOMATEDMOBILE PHONE BILLING AND DISTRIBUTION PLATFORM FOR APPLICATIONPROVIDERS," filed on September 7, 2005, which is incorporated herein by reference in its entirety for all purposes.
In addition, the use of a credit card is economically viable only if the transaction amount, or a volume of such transactions, exceeds a particular amount that depends on the underlying efficiency of the billing and collecting system implemented by the merchant and by the credit card provider.
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AUTOMATED BILLING AND DISTRIBUTION PLATFORM FOR APPLICATION PROVIDERSCross-Reference To Related Applications  The present application claims the benefit of priority under 35 U. Many such users most likely have a mobile -phone or mobile device, and it would be easy and efficient to have a mechanism for billing the user for transactions through the user's pre-existing account with the wireless network carrier associated with the user's mobile phone number. To bring you the best content on our sites and applications, Meredith partners with third party advertisers to serve digital ads, including personalized digital ads.Those advertisers use tracking technologies to collect information about your activity on our sites and applications and across the Internet and your other apps and devices.Currently, wireless network carriers routinely bill users for small transactional amounts, such as a one minute call, or portion thereof, and are able to bill and collect for these small transactions while making a profit.These small transactions are referred to as micro-transactioris and, in terms of U. currency, can be as small as a few pennies, although larger transactions occur as well. Back rg ound  While credit card use and automatic credit card billing is a common way to conduct business transactions in many countries, they are not necessarily the best way in some situations. Field of the Invention  The present invention relates to an automated distribution and billing platform for networked applications, and, more particularly, relates to a micro-transaction billing platform through which transactions are conducted for the access and use of networked applications by mobile phone users.Also, other billing mechanisms can be used rather than sending a billing message to the wireless network carrier of the user, such as the use of prepaid card services, web-based payment services, bank account and credit card billing services, and other such external billing mechanisms to support customer transactions. Accordingly, it is unnecessary for the application provider to have contractual agreements with any of the wireless network carriers, because the billing is automatically performed by the platform through the wireless network carriers on behalf of the application providers.Accordingly, the retailer/vendor would need to enter into contractual relationships with each of the many different wireless network carriers in order to be able to provide a mobile phone based micro-transaction billing option to the desired global market of mobile phone users.A retailer or vendor can try to use billing mechaiiisms other than wireless network carriers, such as prepaid card services, web-based payment services, bank account and credit card billing services, and other such external billing mechanisms to support customer transactions.