Today in Mobile

The San Francisco-based mobile-payment startup Boku claims to be handling more than 1 million transactions a month for 1,000 merchants in 56 markets. The company is gaining traction by allowing consumers to use their phones to pay for virtual goods such as weapons in an online game; after confirming a text message they are billed through their monthly carrier statements. The space may seem niche, especially compared to ambitious concepts such as the “mobile wallet” where phones double as credit cards, but virtual good sales are expected to generate $2.5 billion by 2010, according to Piper Jaffray. And — unlike many mobile wallet scenarios — there seems to be a real demand for using phones to pay for the stuff.