Establishing local presence in India will help Fortumo take a local approach to one of the biggest emerging markets for online payments.
India has less than 20 million credit card owners, meaning 99% of the population cannot pay for content using services such as Google Play or PayPal. Meanwhile, direct carrier billing with Fortumo is available to 600 million phone owners in the country. Fortumo is already working with some of the biggest digital goods merchants in India, including the leading streaming service provider BoxTV.
Fortumo has been operating in India since September when the company announced direct carrier billing support the users of Vodafone, Airtel, Idea and Tata Docomo. Fortumo is the only Western payment provider offering a direct carrier billing solution and covering 70% of mobile subscribers in India.
With direct carrier billing, users do not need to send any messages to complete the purchases – this makes payments faster and in turn increases conversion and revenue for developers.
Sanjay Sinha, General Manager for Fortumo India believes direct carrier billing is the key for developers who want to be successful in India: “Monetization is the biggest challenge for mobile developers and Fortumo is ideally positioned to solve this problem. The mobile ecosystem in India is exploding with established companies setting up their mobile identity and hordes of new start-ups launching. My goal as the general manager for Fortumo India will be to secure a central role for Fortumo in this growing market.”
“India is such an important growth market for mobile payments, so we just needed to go local there. We’re excited to have Sanjay on board at Fortumo to help both Western developers earn revenues from India and Indian developers to make money from abroad”, said Rain Rannu, founder of Fortumo.
Sanjay Sinha has worked in the mobile payments industry for more than a decade. His prior experience includes work at Yahoo India, ACL Wireless and CellNext.
India plays a central role in Fortumo’s emerging market strategy, as smartphone users in India are expected to grow to 67 million in 2013 and to 382 million by 2016. India is expected to overtake the United States and place second after China in the number of mobile subscribers in coming years. Revenue from mobile games and applications in India is expected to grow to 427 million USD by 2016.
As feature phones currently hold a dominant position in India, Fortumo has created a customized payment flow for use on feature phones. The solution automatically recognizes when a feature phone environment is being used and morphs itself to enable payments on phones without in-app payment capabilities.
Fortumo is the only mobile payment provider with a self-service setup and no monthly fees or minimum volume commitments – anyone can sign up for an account and get started with mobile payments at http://fortumo.com. Get in touch via firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mobile payments company Fortumo is today launching a developer program which will act as a one stop shop for Chinese developers who want to expand their business outside of China. The Fortumo Expand program is free of charge for developers and provides them access to Fortumo payments in 80 countries, as well as localization, testing, distribution and promotion of their apps and games. Fortumo Expand will be implemented by Martti Mustila, former Head of Global Developer Programs at Nokia with 15 years of experience in community management.
“While helping top Western developers to monetize their users with mobile operator billing in China, we realized that it’s equally difficult for Chinese developers to achieve international success,” said Gewben Wu, Head of Fortumo Asia. “Due to a language barrier, differences in culture and business practices, it is often difficult for Chinese developers to find the right partners in the West. As we are the only Western mobile payment provider with local presence in China, our goal is to help local developers bridge this gap and expand their business in new markets,” added Wu.
In addition to providing a mobile payment solution that works in 80 countries through 300 mobile operators, Fortumo will help Chinese developers distribute their apps in twenty third party app stores and provide monthly market reports to emerging countries with the biggest revenue potential. Developers will also receive free localization and testing of their first app from Symbio and free advertising for their Windows Phone or Windows 8 app from AdDuplex.
Fortumo Expand is aimed at developers building apps and games for Android, Windows Phone and Windows 8 platforms. Chinese developers can enroll in the program here.
Partnership solidifies Fortumo’s leadership position in Central and Eastern Europe; deal includes special promotion for Zeptolab’s hit game Cut the Rope
The mobile payments company Fortumo is today announcing partnership with Kyivstar, the second largest mobile operator in Central and Eastern Europe and one of the innovation leaders in the region. This partnership allows 25 million Kyivstar customers to make payments in games and applications in Kyivstar’s App Club app store without using a credit card.
The first game to be published using Fortumo mobile payments in App Club is the global hit „Cut the Rope: Originals“ from the Russian game development studio Zeptolab. Kyivstar customers are now able to unlock additional features and levels in the game by using one-click mobile payments. The amount of apps in App Club using mobile payments will soon grow, thanks to game developers like Rovio, EA, Halfbrick, Creative Mobile and Lima Sky.
“Our partnership with Fortumo will bring additional value to both consumers and developers of digital products – users are now able to make purchases within freemium and free-to-play games by charging payments to their mobile phone bill. For developers, mobile payments provide better access to monetizing the Ukrainian market – rather than relying on credit cards, a simpler mobile payment solution is now available to them,“ said Alexei Kireyev, Head of Product Development and New Business at Kyivstar.
“We are very happy to partner with Kyivstar as the regional leader and role model in providing value-added services to their customers. This partnership will bring additional revenue to developers using Fortumo as Ukraine is one of the largest emerging markets and has great potential for mobile payments,” said Gerri Kodres, SVP Business Development and Carrier Relations at Fortumo.
The structure of the “Ukraine” business unit of VimpelCom Ltd. includes two Ukrainian telecommunication operators – JSC Kyivstar and “Golden Telecom” LLC. The combined customer base is over 25 million people. “Kyivstar” is the number one provider of mobile communications and mobile Internet services in Ukraine. Its mobile GSM/EDGE network is one of the best in Europe and covers all the big and small cities of Ukraine, more than 28 thousand rural settlements, all major national and regional routes, the majority of sea and river coasts. Kyivstar provides for Ukraine mobile and fix communication services, data transmission and broadband internet access, as well as services of International roaming in 195 countries and 5 continents.The mission of “Kyivstar” is to improve life by providing the highest quality telecommunication services. For additional information please contact email@example.com or visit http://www.kyivstar.ua.
Adways Inc. a leading digital advertising network and game publisher announced today a strategic global partnership with Fortumo, a global mobile payment provider headquartered in Estonia.
Through this partnership with Fortumo, Adways will be able to provide to developers not only AppDriver, a CPI based mobile advertising platform and PartyTrack, a mobile measurement system integrated with all major domestic and international ad networks but also a great mobile payment solution with simple SDK.
“Finding the right partner when expanding to new markets is a critical challenge for game and app developers. Through the partnership with Adways, developers from both Asia and Western countries will be able to take advantage of the expertise in app monetization from both companies,” said Gewben Wu, head of Fortumo Asia.
Fortumo is the only Western mobile payment provider with connections to all Chinese mobile operators and has the largest direct carrier billing coverage in India. Fortumo recently established an office in Beijing in order to act as a bridge for Asian developers seeking to monetize overseas and overseas developers seeking to monetize in Asia.
Adways will continue to support in expansion of app developers’ business.
About Adways Inc.
Adways is a digital advertising network and a game publisher headquartered in Tokyo, Japan. It runs the largest mobile affiliate network in Japan as well as the largest smart phone app distribution network. Adways’ social RPG title World of Monsters has been in the iPhone top 10 grossing charts for over 12 months.
Jacob Hauskens Joins Fortumo as VP of Sales & Business Development
Mobile payments company Fortumo is today announcing the appointment of Jacob Hauskens as Vice President of Sales & Business Development, based in San Francisco. Jacob has previously led Sony VAIO’s PC messaging and monetization platform while at Sony Electronics.
Jacob’s main responsibility at Fortumo will be furthering relationships with existing customers including Microsoft, EA, Barnes & Noble and Rovio, as well as establishing new partnerships. “As the US and European mobile software and services markets mature, the next wave of rapid revenue growth is going to come from unlocking the 3 billion customers who have mobile phones but don’t have credit cards,” said Jacob Hauskens.
“Fortumo is the only mobile payment provider who is able to work with companies of any size – from the smallest indie developer to large corporations, mobile operators and OEM-s. Jacob’s experience as an industry veteran will help us take our payment solutions to additional customers and help increase revenue for existing ones,” said Rain Rannu, CEO and co-founder of Fortumo.
In addition to holding leadership positions at Sony Electronics and collaborating with companies such as Google, Microsoft, Symantec, and Intel, Jacob has worked as the Director of Business Development for Rocket Lawyer and as an analyst at Bank of America Securities.
Mobile payments company Fortumo has today announced the launch of its mobile payment services in India. Direct carrier billing with four of the largest mobile operators enables Fortumo payments to 530 million mobile phone users, the largest coverage of any mobile payment provider in the country.
„India has historically been a tough market to crack for mobile payment providers due to outdated premium SMS technologies being widely used, making payment integration for mobile game and app developers complicated. Rather than relying on old technologies which were meant for selling ringtones and wallpapers, Fortumo connects to operators directly through direct carrier billing. In this scenario, users do not need to send any messages. This makes payments faster, in turn increasing conversion and revenue for developers,“ explained Gerri Kodres, SVP Business Development and Carrier Relations at Fortumo.
Despite the continued popularity of feature phones in India (80% market share in H1 2012), smartphones are seeing increased adoption – the number of smartphones sold in Q1 of 2013 grew by 74% with Android dominating the smartphone market at a 90% market share. The Indian mobile gaming market is estimated to reach 574 million USD by 2016.
Fortumo has previously announced direct carrier billing partnerships with some of the largest mobile operator groups in the world, including China Mobile, Telefónica and Telenor. In India, Fortumo’s direct carrier billing support is available to subscribers of Vodafone, Airtel, Idea and Tata Docomo who have a combined market share of 61% in India.
Mobile payments provider Fortumo today announced direct carrier billing agreements with China Unicom and China Telecom. Together with an earlier partnership with China Mobile, Fortumo is now the first and only mobile payments provider who can provide mobile operator billing for in-app purchases to all 1.15 billion mobile phone subscribers in China.
“China is already the largest Android market in the world, but Western developers are struggling to enter the market as traditional payment methods, like credit cards, are available to few users and the distribution is very fragmented. Carrier billing can account for up to 75% of all revenues generated from Android apps in China, and now Fortumo enables international developers to take advantage of the most widely-available payment method in the country,” said Gerri Kodres, senior vice president of Business Development and Carrier Partnerships at Fortumo.
Unlike Western countries that use Google Play as a standard store, China, on the other hand, has tens of channels for Android distribution. In addition to carrier billing, Fortumo can provide its customers with distribution in most leading Chinese channels, including China Mobile, China Unicom, China Telecom appstores, 360 Appstore, 91, Wandoujia, HiAPK, Baidu and number of others.
Fortumo’s commitment to China is further solidified by its recently establishing a Beijing office, through which Fortumo aims to act as a bridge for Chinese developers seeking to monetize overseas and overseas developers seeking to monetize in China. Fortumo has already closed deals with top Chinese developers, including CocoaChina/Chukong, Gamewave and Boyaa for monetizing their games in the international markets.
In May, Fortumo announced a partnership with leading Chinese phone manufacturer ZTE to start powering in-app payments on ZTE Android smartphones and phones preloaded with quality games and apps. The first smartphones preloaded with apps from Fortumo’s customers will reach the market in Q3 2013.
Leading software licensing solution company Lotaris has partnered with mobile payments company Fortumo for carrier billing on Windows 8 and Windows Phone. Carrier billing by Fortumo will enable developers using Lotaris’ in-app Commerce solution to charge end-users in 80 countries for both traditional applications and apps in the Windows Store and Windows Phone Store by charging purchases to their phone bill.
“This alliance between Fortumo and Lotaris brings two industry-leading and award-winning mobile content monetization platforms together to form one seamless, flexible solution. Our combined solution allows content developers — from the smallest “indie” to the largest global players — the ability to offer their users the broadest range of business models smoothly integrated with every major payment option, including the widest coverage of mobile operator payment in the world.“ said Miika Kettunen, GM Lotaris (Europe) and Head of Product Development.
“Mobile payments give developers access to end-users who would otherwise not be able to pay for premium apps, features and in-app purchases — growing the potential user base ten-fold. Combining Lotaris’ flexible application licensing with carrier billing will bring exciting new monetization opportunities to developers on Windows platforms and beyond,” said Martin Koppel, COO of Fortumo.
“Mobile payments give consumers an alternate payment method to credit cards, which can greatly benefit Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 users and developers,” said John Richards, senior director of Windows App Marketing for Microsoft Corp. “We are happy to see companies like Lotaris and Fortumo working together to create attractive financial opportunities for developers and seamless purchasing experiences for users on Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8.”
Lotaris will integrate Fortumo’s mobile payments SDK for Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 into its in-appCommerce solution, making carrier billing available for developers at the end of July.
Marmalade – the award-winning cross-platform development tool – and Fortumo, the developer-friendly mobile payments provider, today announced that Fortumo has been seamlessly integrated with the Marmalade SDK to enable developers easy access to in-app purchasing in 80 countries.
This partnership will enable Marmalade’s developers to easily add in-app purchasing to all their Android titles. Fortumo’s in-app purchasing technology has become the preferred choice for thousands of developers looking to integrate mobile operator billing and in-app purchasing on Android, Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8, and online and credit card billing on NOOK®.
Fortumo’s SDK is also the official in-app purchasing solution for Barnes & Noble’s NOOK Store™, where Marmalade developers can now more easily earn money from their freemium apps.
“Our developers are always looking for the most effective ways to monetise their apps for mobile and tablet devices.” said Tim Closs, CTO of Marmalade. He continued: “At Marmalade we aim to give our community the greatest possible choice for how they develop content and generate revenue. With the integration of Fortumo’s services into our SDK, we’re continuing our commitment to our developers and opening up even more opportunities for them to succeed”
“Developers use Marmalade to deploy apps easily across multiple platforms; in the same way, they want easy access to billing capabilities across every country and app store. Fortumo’s in-app purchasing is unique because with one integration developers can make money in any Android app store” added Martin Koppel, COO of Fortumo.
“Enthusiasm towards in-app purchasing from the NOOK developer community has been outstanding. We are excited about the partnership between Fortumo and Marmalade as it reduces the effort for developers to bring new and exciting digital content into NOOK Apps™ while helping them increase their revenue,” said Claudia Romanini, Vice President of NOOK Apps, NOOK Media LLC.
Fortumo’s in-app purchasing uses mobile operator billing, which works for any mobile user in 80 countries. This is especially useful in emerging markets where many more people have mobile phones than have credit cards. Using Fortumo, some app developers have increased their conversion and revenues by more than 10 times.
To download a free evaluation of the Marmalade SDK, visit: http://www.madewithmarmalade.com/.
To add Fortumo’s payments to your Marmalade app, please visit: https://github.com/marmalade/Fortumo.
ZTE Joygor, a subsidiary of ZTE Corporation (“ZTE”) (H share stock code: 0763.HK / A share stock code: 000063.SZ), a publicly-listed global provider of telecommunications equipment, network solutions and mobile devices, has partnered with mobile payments company Fortumo for app billing and in-app purchasing.
Through the partnership, ZTE Joygor will use Fortumo’s billing connections in 80 countries for monetizing users on ZTE Joygor’s app platform, which comes preloaded on millions of ZTE devices worldwide.
As part of the deal, users of ZTE phones will also get access to top mobile games already using Fortumo’s in-app purchasing for Android, as these apps will be preloaded directly to ZTE handsets.
“ZTE is offering the industry’s most comprehensive product range, covering virtually everything from telecommunications equipment to content. Preloading quality freemium apps directly to the handsets is great for users and a very successful strategy for developers,” says Gao Yunfei, General Manager of ZTE Joygor. “We’re excited to work with Fortumo for both their billing capabilities and for their partnerships with top app developers.”
Fortumo’s in-app purchasing SDK has become an industry standard for mobile operator billing and in-app purchasing on Android. It is already used by most top app developers such as Rovio, Popcap, Gameloft, Digital Chocolate, Vostu, Game Insight and Alawar for in-app purchasing in over 50 Android appstores globally; Fortumo is also the official in-app purchasing provider for Barnes & Noble’s NOOK appstore.
“Android app developers don’t want to do a different billing integration for each appstore. Fortumo has been successful because our technology enables them to do only one integration and make money in many Android appstores, including handset manufacturer and mobile operator preloads, in 80 countries”, says Gerri Kodres, SVP of Business Development and Carrier Partnerships at Fortumo.
“We’re impressed with ZTE Joygor’s platform and global reach from emerging markets like China all the way to US and Europe. We’re looking forward to a long-term partnership between ZTE and Fortumo” added Kodres.
First ZTE handsets with preloaded apps using Fortumo’s billing and in-app purchasing are expected to become available in the 2nd quarter of this year.