One Platform Foundation Launches Fortumo Mobile Payments For OpenIAB

The One Platform Foundation is today launching a new version of its Open In-App Billing Library (OpenIAB) with carrier billing powered by Fortumo. Developers can now take advantage of mobile operator billing in 80 countries for in-app purchasing in any Android app store.

“The payment ecosystem on Android has been very fragmented and each app store required a separate payment solution to be used. Now developers only need to add OpenIAB to their app once and they can start earning revenue from a variety of app stores and devices without Google Play Services,” said Oleg Orlov, co-ordinator at the One Platform Foundation.

Using OpenIAB, Developers are able to work with a unified API that handles billing logic corresponding to each store’s payment solution and use single build for app stores and devices without integrated in-app purchases solution.

OpenIAB currently supports billing for Google Play, Amazon App Store, Samsung Apps, T-Store, Appland, Yandex.Store and Fortumo mobile operator billing is available in any participating app store that has implemented OpenIAB. Each developer will have the option to dynamically select in which countries and marketplaces they want to use mobile operator billing.

Fortumo’s addition to OpenIAB also adds Barnes & Noble’s NOOK app store to the list of marketplaces where developers using OpenIAB can make money. Fortumo is the official in-app purchasing provider for NOOK Apps.

OpenIAB packages for Android, Unity3D and Marmalade SDK are available on GitHub.

About One Platform Foundation

The One Platform Foundation is a global, open-source initiative created by Android app developers and Android app stores that share a vision of making life easier for Android developers. One Platform Foundation contributes time to create tools and standards that make supporting multiple app stores simpler. Partners of the One Platform Foundation include Opera Store, SlideME, Yandex.Store, CodeNgo, Appland and Mobango. For additional information, visit http://www.onepf.org.

NOW! Innovations & Fortumo Team Up for Payments for Parking and EV Charging via Mobile Operator Bill

The mobility services company NOW! Innovations and the carrier billing provider Fortumo are today announcing a partnership for charging payments for parking, EV charging, and other mobility services to mobile operator bill.

NOW! Innovations will start offering payments for mobile parking, EV charging, and other services, through Fortumo’s direct carrier billing solution, available in the number of European and Asian countries and in the US. As a result of the partnership, interested municipalities, parking and EV charging network operators as well as NOW! customers will be able to easily add mobile operator billing as an additional option for accepting payments from users.

“Mobile operator billing has proven itself as the most convenient way to pay for parking. For example, in Estonia – where such solutions have been in use for more than 10 years – 90% of parking payments are charged to the mobile operator bill,” says Rain Rannu, Co-Founder and CEO of Fortumo. “We’re excited to work together with NOW! Innovations to make mobile operator billing available in new territories, as well as for electric vehicle charging.”

Üllar Jaaksoo, CEO of NOW! Innovations added: “Mobile invoicing is not only a convenient method for payments but may also be essential in countries where banking and particularly credit cards do not have high penetration rates. Fortumo has a great vibe and energy, and we believe the partnership will bring many interesting and game-changing projects.”

Fortumo’s system works via carrier billing, wherein customers pay for digital goods via their mobile billing plans with their mobile operators. It is often regarded as the most convenient and most accessible way of paying for things, as it does not require the users to have a credit card.

Fortumo features payment connectivity with over 300 mobile operators in 80 countries, including a number of exclusive direct carrier billing partnerships. Mobile billing is available for over 4 billion mobile users worldwide without a need to register or have a credit card.

About NOW! Innovations
NOW! Innovations is a global SaaS provider of mobile payment, billing and management solutions for parking, EV charging, and other mobility services, operating on 3 continents and in 8 countries. The Company has developed a flexible and easy-to-use platform for parking, electric vehicle charging and other mobility services. The NOW! Platform enables service operators to not only add mobile phone payments to their existing system either independently or as an integrated approach but also to utilize best in class billing with flexible parking and EV network management tools. NOW! Innovations helps achieve increased revenues and efficiency, decrease costs, and promote green solutions. For more information, visit http://nowinnovations.com.

Fortumo Launches $1M Fund for Windows Developers Integrating Fortumo Carrier Billing SDK

Fortumo Mobile Payments - In-App Purchasing For Windows Phone & Windows 8The mobile payments company Fortumo is today announcing a developer program for Windows Phone and Windows 8 apps. Developers who integrate Fortumo in-app purchasing to their app will receive an advance of up to $25,000 from Fortumo to cover their integration costs. The program is also open to successful iOS & Android developers who are bringing their apps to the Windows platform. Additional details on the campaign can be found here.

Fortumo in-app payments enable customers to charge digital goods purchases to their mobile operator bill. Mobile payments are a strong alternative to credit cards, especially in emerging markets. There are four times more mobile phones in the world than credit cards and in countries like Brazil, Russia, India and China, credit card ownership is as low as 15%.

Mobile operator billing with Fortumo is designed to complement Microsoft Corp.’s own payment solution. For Windows Store, Fortumo provides mobile payments in 81 countries and over 300 mobile networks. For Windows Phone Store, Fortumo extends Microsoft’s existing mobile operator billing reach by adding a number of emerging markets in Latin America, Eastern Europe, Asia, Middle-East and Africa with low credit card penetration.

Hundreds of top developers like Rovio, Zeptolab, EA Mobile and Gameloft are using Fortumo for in-app purchasing on Windows, Android, HTML5 and other platforms. By covering integration costs, Fortumo wants to highlight the significant revenue opportunities of adding mobile operator billing also on Windows Phone and Windows 8.

Fortumo offers native-looking in-app purchasing for Windows and Windows Phone apps that only requires the user to have a mobile phone – no additional registration or credit card is required. It supports over 40 currencies and is localized into 32 languages.

Fortumo offers self-service setup with no monthly fees or minimum volume commitments, allowing any developer regardless of size and location to sign up for an account and get started with mobile payments at http://fortumo.com.

BoxTV introduces mobile-enabled payments for subscribers in UK

BoxTV.com, India’s premier video streaming service, which introduced mobile-enabled payment mode in India last October, has now launched mobile-enabled payments for its subscribers in the UK.

Starting immediately, customers of Virgin Mobile, Vodafone, Orange, T-Mobile, 3 and O2 in the UK will be able to purchase BoxTV mobile packs online or through BoxTV’s Android application, with the help of its mobile billing partner Fortumo.

Speaking on the announcement, Pandurang Nayak, Business Head - BoxTV.com said, “With a large diaspora of Indians in UK, BoxTV is glad to offer them with an additional option to pay conveniently through their mobile phone for enjoying premium Bollywood and regional content. The success of this payment mode in India has encouraged us to introduce this key feature to more territories.  We are happy to announce this new mode of payment for 100% of UK’s mobile customer base.”

“Many people do not want to pay for digital content using credit cards because it requires sharing personal information. Operator billing removes this problem because no personal data is shared – the user enters his/her phone number and the payment is charged to their phone bill. This provides a faster and risk-free purchasing experience.  BoxTV has been a premier partner in India and we are excited to work with them to give UK’s Bollywood fans access to their favourite content,” added Gerri Kodres, Senior Vice President of Business Development & Carrier Relations at Fortumo.

With 1.5 million people of Indian origin, the UK is the second largest Western country for the Indian diaspora. Indian film industry releases over 1,000 films a year and less than 10% of them are shown in cinemas in the UK .Box TV  has established itself as an Indian film discovery platform and offers popular content from  Bollywood and Regional cinema  having content tie ups with prestigious studios like  Disney UTV, Shemaroo, Rajshree, Balaji motion pictures etc.

BoxTV has more than 14,000 hours of content – primarily Bollywood and regional content – in nine languages for customers outside India. The content includes movies, TV shows and documentaries. Launched commercially an year ago, BoxTV has more than half a million registered users worldwide and has plans to expand aggressively in the coming months.  BoxTV can be accessed through its website at http://boxtv.com or through its apps on the App Store, Play Store and Windows Phone Store.

Ditto TV Partners with Fortumo to Offer Payment Options through Mobile Operators

Ditto TV, India’s first OTT (Over-The-Top) TV distribution platform from Zee New Media, the digital arm of Zee Entertainment Enterprises Limited (ZEEL) has partnered with mobile payment provider Fortumo to introduce a new mobile payment option to further simplify the overall consumer experience. With this partnership, Ditto TV users can now subscribe to their favourite content on Ditto TV and make payments directly through their mobile operator, and without the need of a credit card, cash on delivery (COD), or net banking options. This payment model is available for both post- paid and pre- paid mobile users.

Speaking about this partnership, Manoj Padmanabhan, Business Head, DittoTV said, “We at Ditto TV are committed to making the user experience as seamless, convenient and memorable as possible. With the association with Fortumo, we are now a few steps closer to ensuring that our users have the ease and simplicity they need to make payments using their mobile phones. Fortumo, with its multiple telecom operator tie-ups, will help us reach out to complex markets, where credit cards or net banking options are limited, and build our presence across key markets beyond the metros.”

“Compared to mobile phone users, there are very few credit card owners in emerging markets like India and South-East Asia. This creates a situation where a lot of people want access to mobile entertainment, but have no way to pay for it. Operator billing solves this problem by allowing companies like Ditto TV to charge users on their phone bill. In addition to significantly expanding payment coverage for merchants, Fortumo also reduces the time to market as only one integration to enable payments in 80 countries globally,” said Gerri Kodres, SVP of Business Development and Carrier Relations at Fortumo.

Interestingly, India has witnessed stronger adoption for smartphones with a market penetration of close to 100 million, as compared to 20 million for credit cards. Furthermore, credit card penetration remains largely confined to metros, comprising a mere 1.7% of the country’s overall population. Another challenge is the inherent resistance observed among credit card users, in sharing critical account-related information, along with the tedious sign-up processes involved. Allowing payments through mobile operators effectively mitigates the need for credit card information and will help Ditto TV reach out to a huge potential user base across smaller markets which have limited access to credit cards. Fortumo currently operates in about 80 countries across the world and has tie ups with most major Indian telecom operators – Idea Cellular, Vodafone, Airtel and Tata Docomo.

Ditto TV has integrated this seamless process for mobile payment across all subscription packages, including VOD and MOD content. All a customer needs to do is to select the content to view and confirm the payment on the mobile phone charging the amount to their mobile operator. Fortumo will process the payment request with the concerned telecom operator and once the verification is generated, the user can avail the content. The payment is later charged to the customer mobile bill or deducted from his pre- paid account balance, as the case may be.

Today, Ditto TV offers the largest collection of premium content through 70 LIVE TV channels spread across leading genres like GEC, Sports, Lifestyle, Regional and News along with rich on-demand video capabilities. Ditto TV can be downloaded from www.dittotv.com.

Fortumo joins One Platform Foundation to bring mobile operator billing to OpenIAB

One Platform Foundation is today announcing that the mobile payments company Fortumo has joined its Open In-App Billing (OpenIAB) initiative to enable developers to use mobile operator billing in 80 countries for in-app purchasing in any Android app store.

The OpenIAB initiative aims to create a unified billing solution for over thirty Android marketplaces. Developers are able to wrap their app using the OpenIAB library which then handles billing logic corresponding to each store’s payment solution.

“Over 3 billion people want to buy digital goods with mobile payments. Adding Fortumo’s mobile operator billing to OpenIAB makes it easier for Android developers to earn money from emerging markets,” said Gerri Kodres, SVP of Business Development and Carrier Relations at Fortumo.

„Very few Android developers currently make the effort to publish and monetize their apps outside of Google Play. The simple reason is that it takes time and they do not want to integrate payments for each store separately. Fortumo is a welcome partner in the OpenIAB project as their payment SDK already works in most marketplaces. With more partners joining, we can create a critical mass for OpenIAB, change developer behaviour and ultimately make their business more profitable,“ commented Oleg Orlov, co-ordinator at the One Platform Foundation.

There are more than30 alternative Android app stores operating globally. In those app stores, the likelihood of an app getting featured is 20 times higher than on Google Play. Approximately 25% of all Android apps are downloaded outside of Google Play. Revenues from third party app stores can make up as much as 25-40% of the total revenue for an app. An overview of alternative such stores can be found at the One Platform Foundation homepage.

OpenIAB currently supports billing for Google Play, Amazon App Store, Samsung Apps, T-Store and Yandex Store. Fortumo’s mobile operator billing will become available in any participating app store that has implemented OpenIAB billing. Each developer will have the option to dynamically select in which countries and marketplaces they want to use mobile operator billing.

Fortumo’s addition to OpenIAB also adds Barnes & Noble’s NOOK app store to the list of marketplaces where developers using OpenIAB can make money. Fortumo is the official in-app purchasing provider for NOOK Apps.

Fortumo mobile payments in 80 countries will become available through OpenIAB’s billing library by the end of March 2014. To start using mobile operator billing right now, any Android developer can sign up for Fortumo in-app purchasing at: http://fortumo.com/android.

About One Platform Foundation
The One Platform Foundation is a global, open-source initiative created by Android app developers and Android app stores that share a vision of making life easier for Android developers. One Platform Foundation contributes time to create tools and standards that make supporting multiple app stores simpler. Partners of the One Platform Foundation include Opera Store, SlideME, Yandex.Store, CodeNgo, Appland and Mobango. For additional information, visit http://www.onepf.org.

Fortumo, Smart Partner for Convenient Mobile Games Payments

Mobile payments company Fortumo announced today a direct carrier billing partnership with Smart Communications, Inc. (Smart), the largest mobile operator in the Philippines that will allow its subscribers to pay for games conveniently through their phone.

Fortumo, who provides billing for top global game developers such as Rovio, Electronic Arts and Gameloft, will make its games portfolio also available for Smart’s game store, GameX (www.gamex.ph).

“The Philippines is a market which is very well suited for this kind of operator billing payment. Through the deal with Fortumo, our subscribers will enjoy the ease of paying for many global games and apps through their phones. This will also benefit further the game developer’s community. Fortumo is also working together with Smart to educate local app and game developers about opportunities to open their apps for the overseas markets,” said Orlando B. Vea, Smart chief wireless advisor.

The Philippines has an extremely low penetration of credit cards, so only very few people can make payments online. Compared to the 104 million mobile phones in circulation, there are less than 3 million credit cards in circulation – this means enabling operator billing for digital content increases the potential number of users who can enjoy mobile game purchases 30 times.

While already 39% of phones in use in the Philippines are smartphones, a majority of people still use feature phones. Fortumo has built a special payment flow for web payments which support payments on low-capability feature phones.

Fortumo’s direct carrier billing solution – in which a user does not need to send any text messages to complete the payment – is now available to more than 2.5 billion end-users globally.

For mobile developers, Fortumo offers a pioneering self-service setup with no monthly fees or minimum volume commitments, allowing any developer, regardless of size and location to sign up for an account and get started with mobile payments at http://fortumo.com.

Smart currently offers a wide portfolio of mobile games through its mobile portal and is also active in supporting the game developer community in the Philippines through its developer network program Smart DevNet.

About Smart Communications

Smart Communications, Inc. (Smart) is the Philippines’ leading wireless services provider with 56.6 million subscribers on its GSM network as of end-September 2013. Smart has built a reputation for innovation, having introduced world-first wireless offerings such as Smart Money, Smart Load, Smart Padala, and the Netphone. Smart offers 3G, HSPA+, and LTE services while its satellite service Smart Link provides communications to the global maritime industry. Smart Broadband, Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary, offers a wireless broadband service, Smart Broadband, with 1.8 million subscribers as of end-September 2013. Smart is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Philippines’ leading telecommunications carrier, the Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company. For more information, visit http://www.smart.com.ph.

 

Fortumo Launches Direct Carrier Billing with SingTel

The mobile payments company Fortumo is today announcing direct carrier billing with SingTel, the leading mobile operator in Singapore. In addition to Singapore, Fortumo already has strong presence in the region, powering payments in Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam and rapid expansion planned for the near future.

Fortumo has previously announced direct carrier billing partnerships with China Mobile, China Unicom and China Telecom in Asia and with Telefónica, Telenor, Swisscom and Kyivstar in other parts of the world. Fortumo direct carrier billing payments now cover 2.5 billion users.

Direct carrier billing lets users make payments over a data connection by confirming payments with one click on their phone. Since the mobile operator has all the information necessary to process the payment, this removes the need to send any text messages during the payment process. In markets where Fortumo provides direct carrier billing, payment conversion for first-time payments is close to 40% and higher for repeat purchases.

Operator billing has the biggest potential in emerging markets where most users do not have a credit card but almost everyone has access to a mobile phone. Indonesia for example has three times more mobile phones than payment cards. The Philippines has 15 phone owners for each card owner. Without operator billing, digital and virtual goods merchants are not able to collect payments from a majority of people living in these countries.

In 2013, Asia Pacific took the global lead in spending on digital content. Revenue from digital gaming reached an estimated 16.3 billion USD in 2013, compared to 12.9 billion USD in North America and 10.8 billion USD in Europe. South-East Asian countries also have some of the biggest spending on mobile entertainment. Fortumo in-app payment data on Android shows that the monthly average revenue per paying users in countries like Taiwan, Thailand and Malaysia is close to 20 USD. In Western markets these numbers are lower – 6.9 USD for the United States and 11.2 USD for the United Kingdom.

Fortumo is the only mobile payment provider with a self-service setup and no monthly fees or minimum volume commitments – any developer, regardless of size and location can sign up for an account and get started with mobile payments at fortumo.com.

About SingTel
SingTel is a leading communications group providing a portfolio of services including voice and data solutions over fixed, wireless and Internet platforms as well as infocomm technology and pay TV. The Group has presence in Asia and Africa with 462 million mobile customers in 26 countries, including Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Pakistan, the Philippines and Thailand. It also has a vast network of offices throughout Asia Pacific and Europe.

E-Commerce Platform Payelp Expands Mobile Coverage for Merchants by Partnering with Fortumo

International business and payment platform Payelp Global announced its partnership and integration with Fortumo, which offers merchants “one-click” mobile payments in 79 countries worldwide.

Fortumo, which has offices in the U.S. (San Francisco), Europe, China and India, not only offers mobile payments in the U.S. and Europe, but focuses on emerging regions and “hard-to-monetize” regions such as Latin America, Middle East, Africa, Central and Eastern Europe and Asia. Over 100,000 developers have already signed up to offer Fortumo mobile payments, including top developers such as Rovio, Electronic Arts (EA) and Gameloft.

Fortumo was the first to create a self-service setup and instant activation for operator billing, enabling any developer regardless of size or location to set up, get approved and go live with mobile payments within 30 minutes.

The partnership between Payelp and Fortumo will enable Payelp’s merchants to offer operator billing as a payment solution to their end-users; rather than charging purchases to a credit card, users can pay with their mobile operator bill instead. Fortumo’s service works especially well in emerging regions and other cash-based regions where the use of credit cards is limited.

Payelp, which is part of a global payment platform that processes more than 500,000 transactions per minute, offers payment and business development services to merchants in over 74 countries worldwide. Payelp specializes in digital goods and services, but also works with non-digital merchants as well. The company is able to offer merchants all around the world a unique service and valuable expertise that comes with having a worldwide payment network with multiple offices around the world.

Fortumo CEO Rain Rannu stated “Mobile payments bring the biggest revenue to merchants from countries where few people have credit cards – Central & Eastern Europe, Latin America, Africa and Asia. Our common expertise in emerging markets with Payelp will help more merchants earn additional revenue through operator billing.”

Albert Donahue, CEO of Payelp Global, stated, “We are always looking for additional payment options to offer our merchants and other global partners, and we are very happy to be working with Fortumo as they are a rapidly growing mobile payment service company that will help our merchants, as well as Fortumo’s, to expand into emerging regions and areas where mobile payments are growing at a rapid rate. In Canada, as well as in Eastern and Central Europe, mobile payments are on the rise; In Africa, the mobile payment market is outperforming traditional banking, especially in countries like Uganda and Kenya, where mobile payments are the primary payment method in B2C e-commerce. Fortumo has a strong presence in these growing markets, and we are looking forward to our partnership together.”

About Payelp Global
Payelp helps online retailers and businesses grow e-commerce revenue worldwide, offering merchants over 300 payment gateways worldwide with just one contract with Payelp. Online retailers can accept credit cards, PayPal, direct debit, Virtual Visa (Qiwi Virtual Visa™), payments from kiosks, cash transfer, prepaid and gift cards, mobile payments and more- with one low fee per transaction. Payelp doesn’t charge merchants start-up fees, monthly or minimum transaction fees- just one low transaction fee, with PCI-DSS card security compliance, fraud and chargeback protection, 24/7 multilingual merchant and customer support, payment data analytics, as well as a suite of auxiliary services such as business licensing, tax and currency management, logistics, web site localization and marketing, and more.

Fortumo launches in Indonesia, bringing mobile payments to 205 million phone owners

The mobile payments company Fortumo is today launching mobile operator billing in Indonesia, the fourth largest country in the world by population. 205 million phone owners using Telkomsel, XL Axiata, Indosat and Axis networks can now charge purchases for digital content to their mobile operator bill.

As Fortumo is working with hundreds of top app developers and platform owners such as Rovio (Angry Birds), Microsoft, Electronic Arts, Barnes & Noble, Gameloft, Box TV, launching in Indonesia means that over 200 million additional mobile users will now be able to purchase content from many top app and online developers through mobile operator billing.

Indonesia has three times more mobile phone owners than credit card owners and mobile operator billing is already more popular than credit card billing for online payments. The Indonesian digital goods market is estimated to reach 244 million USD in 2013 while less than 10% of payments are made with credit cards. Indonesia has an estimated 57 million smartphone owners, a number which has doubled since last year.

In the recent months, Fortumo has made similar announcements regarding launching mobile operator billing in China (world’s largest country by population) and India (world’s second largest country by population). These countries together with Indonesia are significant not only because of their huge population but also because they have a large share of unbanked consumers who don’t have access to traditional means of payments.

South-East Asian countries as a whole have some of the highest spending on mobile entertainment. According to Fortumo in-app payments data, the monthly average revenue per paying user (ARPPU) is 19.6 USD in Taiwan, 14.5 USD in Thailand and 13.2 USD in Malaysia. In contrast, ARPPU in Western markets is significantly lower – 6.9 USD in the United States, 11.2 USD for the United Kingdom and 10.6 USD for Germany.

In the entire Asia Pacific region, Fortumo is now available for 2.3 billion phone owners in 10 countries – Australia, China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand & Vietnam. Globally, Fortumo provides payments in 80 countries through more than 300 mobile operators.

Fortumo is the only mobile payment provider with a self-service setup and no monthly fees or minimum volume commitments – any developer, regardless of size and location can sign up for an account and get started with mobile payments at fortumo.com.