Smart and WAC: enabling payments, empowering developers


You’re at a store and see a shoe you like. Unfortunately, your last late night drinking session has utterly drained whatever remained of your meager salary and through a series of unfortunate (yet hilarious) series of events, you do not have a credit card. What you do have though, is an Android phone, a Smart account and an app called Shoephoric that allows you to post the shoe you want online to other users and more importantly, make them pay for it using their load. A few rounds of begging/cajoling of your friends later, you now have enough dough to buy the shoe that you like.

This isn’t fiction – the entire scenario above is completely plausible and more importantly, is now a reality, thanks to Smart and the Wholesale Applications Community, more commonly referred to as WAC. WAC in a nutshell, allows seamless interoperability of software, digital products, and services for mobile devices. Smart is one of the members of WAC, which include other operators around the world like AT&T, NTT DOCOMO and SK Telecom. What WAC and by extension, the WAC NAPI enables is in-app operator billing – which is fancy talk for allowing people to pay for goods, services and other things using their mobile load from apps, like the Shoephoric app we mentioned earlier.

What’s nice about WAC is that other operators around the world (that uses it) can use it and send funds through apps like Shoephoric. For example, you had a relative in the US using AT&T and she saw your cry for help in buying shoes. She can then send funds using her AT&T account to help you purchase the shoes that you want, all without going through a separate billing portal. She just clicks and away she goes.

And from what we’ve been hearing from Smart, this is just the beginning. As other devs catch wind and create their apps with the WAC NAPI, the list will start growing. What’s nice about the WAC NAPI is that it allows devs to monetize their apps not just in the Philippines, but across a large swath of operators – code once, deploy everywhere. Soon you’ll be able to buy gadgets, in-game items and almost everything else using your load, without the use of a credit card. Wouldn’t that be just awesome? Check out the screenshots and videos of some more WAC NAPI enabled apps below.

[album: WAC NAPI/]