Fortumo inked 20 direct carrier billing deals in 2015

The mobile payments company Fortumo is today announcing that it signed up 20 new mobile operators and mobile operator groups to use its direct carrier billing platform in 2015. 12 of these partnerships are with carriers from Asia, a region where Fortumo has recently been heavily focusing on.

“2015 has been a great year for carrier billing. In addition to leading app stores and game developers, we have onboarded number of top merchants in new industries like streaming, financial services, productivity tools and messaging. Through this traction, we are helping mobile operators earn more revenue in a situation where their traditional growth areas have slowed down,” said Gerri Kodres, Chief Business Officer at Fortumo.

Part of its focus to emerging markets and Asia, Fortumo has announced partnerships with leading Asian carriers such as Viettel in Vietnam, Dtac in Thailand and Telenor Pakistan. The company has also expanded its footprint in the app store ecosystem, launching carriers like DNA for Google Play and Smart for Windows Phone Store. Beside app stores, Fortumo has brought to carriers streaming content providers (such as Sony and Gaana), top game developers (such as EA Mobile and Gameloft), smartphone manufacturers (Huawei, Xiaomi) and many others.

Fortumo suggests mobile operators also look beyond app stores for growing their carrier billing revenue. “There is potential to double or triple carrier billing revenue in the digital content space beside app stores. This is especially relevant now when carrier billing is opening up to new segments such as music and video, wallets or virtual credit card top-ups, gift cards and mobile commerce,” explained Gerri Kodres. In 2014, the global digital market* was estimated to stand at $43.85 billion out of which app stores generated $24 billion.

Fortumo has recently been focusing on partnerships with mobile operators in the Asia Pacific region. This has been driven by demand from merchants seeking to sustain growth as Western digital markets are slowing down. For example, while smartphone ownership increased only by 11% in the US in 2015, it jumped to 33% in India. Digital content spend is also rising at a faster pace in emerging markets. In the US, digital gaming revenue increased by 13.5% while in India it grew by 99.5%. This makes emerging markets an important focus for merchants and provides mobile operators in these regions the opportunity to generate more revenue from carrier billing.

* – Digital content market size:

Sony LIV partners with Fortumo to offer easy payment solutions to its users

Sony LIV, Multi Screen Media’s (MSM) premium digital video entertainment service has associated with the mobile payments company, Fortumo. Fortumo will now power payments for Sony LIV users. On account of this association, more than 580 million subscribers of Airtel, Vodafone, Idea and Aircel can access videos and movies on Sony LIV by charging payments to their mobile operator’s bill.

Fortumo’s carrier billing solution will enable users to choose specific premium videos or movies that they wish to watch and pay for content using their phone – the payment is either deducted from their prepaid SIM card or charged to the phone bill in case of a postpaid contract. With carrier billing, the users do not need to set up any additional accounts or enter private information to make payments.

Uday Sodhi, EVP and Head -Digital Business, MSM: “Direct Carrier billing helps viewers of Sony LIV to pay easily for their content consumption without a debit or a credit card. Fortumo was identified as the perfect synergistic match for Sony LIV due to its impressive background of powering payments for some of Asia Pacific’s leading digital content players. The tie-up with Fortumo will enable us to take our Video-On-Demand (VoD) service to an even larger audience.”

Sanjay Sinha, Head of Fortumo India said, “India has one of the lowest credit card penetration rates globally while smartphone ownership is growing rapidly. This creates a situation where users can access content online but are not able to pay for it. Fortumo solves the challenge by enabling payments for any phone owner. We are excited to partner with MSM.”

According to a forecast by Gfk, India is ranked as the biggest smartphone growth market by value in 2015. Meanwhile, credit cards are available to only 4% and debit cards to 22% of the country’s population. This creates a difficult challenge for online and mobile merchants trying to generate revenue through traditional payment methods in the country. With Fortumo, Sony LIV will simplify the payment process for its large and dedicated user base in the country.

Fortumo powers payments for a number of leading digital content providers in the Asia Pacific region, including Box TVDitto TVTensports and Gaana. Recently, Fortumo’s platform was implemented by the game developer Rovio and mobile operator Idea to collect payments for Rovio’s games in India.

About Sony LIV:

Sony LIV is the first premium Video on demand (VOD) service by Multi Screen Media (MSM), providing multi-screen engagement to users on all devices. Launched in January 2013, it enables users to discover 20 years of rich content from the network channels of Multi Screen Media Pvt. Ltd. It also provides a rich array of movies, strong line-up of events across all sports, shows, music, product reviews. With 20 million app downloads so far, LIV is the first amongst its competition to provide original exclusive premium content. As a true pioneer in its space, Sony LIV launched India’s first-ever original show exclusively for the online platform earlier this year. With #LoveBytes, it became the country’s first digital video-on-demand (VOD) platform to introduce an innovation of this nature.

Fortumo launches a cross-platform license management solution for digital merchants

The mobile payments company Fortumo is today announcing the launch of a voucher management platform for the sale of digital goods. The platform also supports running marketing campaigns, enabling the vouchers to be used for cross-platform license management for other accounts and user acquisition.

Fortumo launches a cross-platform license management solution for digital merchants

Fortumo’s voucher platform has built-in support for giving users access to content for multiple accounts on several platforms through a single voucher. This provides a seamless purchase experience for users who consume digital magazines, music and video streaming services, anti-virus solutions and social network services across desktop, mobile and tablet devices.

In addition, digital and virtual content providers using the platform do not need to build a separate infrastructure to handle carrier billing relationships with the users. This allows merchants who have previously only been using credit card payments for their paid content to immediately launch carrier billing without the need for additional third party integrations, CMS tools or payment platforms.

“Carrier billing has significantly bigger user reach and better conversion compared to credit cards, especially as smartphone growth is increasing rapidly in emerging markets. The launch of Fortumo’s voucher platform means merchants are able to take advantage of the benefits of carrier billing in a quick and scalable way across all platforms,” said Martin Koppel, CEO of Fortumo.

The same platform can be used by merchants for marketing purposes. For example, merchants can issue free vouchers to new users acquired through an advertising campaign or deliver free voucher codes through a text message to users who have stopped using their service.

Fortumo’s direct carrier billing platform is used by leading app stores (Google Play, Windows Phone Store), game developers (EA Mobile, Gameloft, Rovio) and digital media companies (Times Internet, Ditto TV, Box TV, Gaana). In order to enable global carrier billing for these merchants, Fortumo has partnered with more than 350 mobile operators across the world, including mobile operator groups Telefónica, Telenor, Singtel, Turkcell and Kyivstar, as well as leading mobile operators in India and China.

Viettel and Fortumo partner on direct carrier billing for digital content

Viettel, the largest mobile operator in Vietnam, and the mobile payments company Fortumo are today announcing a partnership through which Fortumo will bring direct carrier billing for Viettel subscribers. More than 55 million Vietnamese will soon be able to purchase digital content online by charging payments to their mobile phone bill.

As a result of the partnership, Fortumo will provide the billing platform to Viettel to enable the launch of carrier billing on major app stores as well as for many top Asian digital content merchants including Box TV, Ditto TV, Gaana, UCWeb/Alibaba, Mobogenie, Octro and Games2Win.

“Mobile operators get the best value out of their billing platform if they enable payments for app stores but also for video and music streaming providers, game developers and other digital merchants. Viettel is the leading mobile operator in Vietnam and we are excited to work together with them in launching carrier billing for app stores as well as for other top tier digital companies,” said Gerri Kodres, Chief Business Officer at Fortumo.

According to the World Bank, credit card penetration in Vietnam is below 2% and debit card penetration stands at 27%. This means that only a quarter of the 36 million smartphone owners in the country currently have access to online payments without mobile payments. The direct carrier billing partnership between Viettel and Fortumo aims to bridge this gap in payment access as online payments become available to anyone who owns a mobile phone.

Fortumo’s direct carrier billing platform is currently available to over 2.5 billion consumers in 16 Asian countries (Australia, Cambodia, China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, New Zealand, Pakistan, Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand & Vietnam). Globally Fortumo covers 94 countries and reaches 4.3 billion consumers with its carrier billing solution.

Besides app stores such as Google Play and Windows Phone Store, Fortumo’s platform is used directly by leading platforms and digital content providers in Asia, including Gaana, UCWeb/Alibaba, Box TV, Ditto TV, Times Internet, Mobogenie, Octro and Games2Win.

To enable global carrier billing for these merchants, Fortumo has partnerships with more than 350 mobile operators across the world, including mobile operator groups such as TelefónicaTelenorSingtel, Turkcell and Kyivstar, as well as leading mobile operators in India and China. In recent news from the region, Fortumo announced the launch of direct carrier billing for Windows Phone Store in the Philippines.

DNA and Fortumo first to launch Google Play carrier billing in Finland

The Finnish mobile operator DNA is today launching carrier billing on the Google Play app store. Customers of DNA can now purchase apps and games from Google Play by completing a 1-click payment and charging the purchases to their phone bill.

The technical platform of the Google Play billing solution for DNA was delivered by Fortumo, a mobile payments company that provides direct carrier billing to digital content providers, device manufacturers and app stores in over 90 countries worldwide. Earlier this month, Fortumo plugged in direct carrier billing for 70 million consumers of the mobile operators Smart and Sun in the Philippines on Windows Phone Store.

“DNA wants to offer its customers the opportunity to effortlessly buy content online by phone and to pay for purchases via a telephone subscription invoice or prepaid credit. Mobile payments charged to DNA’s phone bills are now also available for the Google Play app store. Fortumo impressed DNA with its expertise and experience in the field of international mobile payment solutions. The cooperation with Fortumo in service deployment and system integration has been very smooth,” says Cedric Kamtsan, Vice President of Handset Business at DNA.

“Fortumo accelerates the launch of app store partnerships for carriers by providing a turn-key billing solution. This means mobile operators can move at speed as they do not have to do any additional development on their side. We are excited to launch carrier billing on Google Play for DNA as the first mobile operator in Finland,” said Gerri Kodres, Chief Business Officer at Fortumo.

Fortumo’s direct carrier billing platform allows users to make payments over a data connection by confirming purchases with one click on their phone. Payments are processed without any additional information required from the mobile user which provides a significant conversion improvement compared to any other online payment method.

According to data from eMarketer, 68% of people in Finland already own a smartphone. As reported by Gartner Line, some 90% of phones sold in Finland at the moment are smart phones. The Android operating system accounts for nearly half (48%) of all smart phones in Finnish mobile networks (Gartner Line, Finnish telecommunications market 2013–2017, August 2015 review).

Besides delivering Google Play and Windows Phone Store connections to carriers in Europe and Asia, Fortumo is also used by leading digital content providers and game developers like EA Mobile, Gameloft, Rovio, Times Internet and Gaana. In order to enable global carrier billing for these merchants, Fortumo has partnered with more than 350 mobile operators across the world, including mobile operator groups Telefónica, Telenor, Singtel, Turkcell and Kyivstar, as well as leading mobile operators in India and China.

About DNA
DNA Ltd is a Finnish telecommunications group providing high-quality voice, data and TV services for communication, entertainment and working. DNA is Finland’s largest cable operator and the leading pay TV provider in both the cable and terrestrial networks. For DNA, the key area for growth in the Corporate Business is the new way of working, independent of time and place, facilitated by smart mobile devices, diverse communication services and rapid connections. In 2014, DNA recorded a turnover of EUR 833.5 million and an operating profit of EUR 27.6 million. DNA Ltd has more than 3.5 million mobile communications and fixed network customer subscriptions. The Group also includes DNA Store, Finland’s largest retail chain selling mobile phones. For more information, please visit http://www.dna.fi, Twitter @DNA_fi and Facebook.

SyQic launches mobile payments for Yoomob with Fortumo

SyQic plc, (AIM:SYQ), the fast growing OTT provider of paid video content across mobile and internet enabled consumer devices, announces that it has launched its new “click to pay” payment platform for the Company’s main product, Yoomob, in partnership with the international mobile payment provider Fortumo.

To date, the Company’s flagship product, Yoomob, has been launched in collaboration with telecommunication providers (the “Telcos”) to provide subscriber targeting, content marketing, revenue collection and payment. This method of deployment has had a tendency to delay expansion of the service due to the extended timeframes Telcos typically work to developing, integrating and deploying new innovative services and has placed considerable strain on the Company’s working capital due to delayed payments.

Today, the Company has launched its evolutionary “click to pay” payment processing platform whereby the Company can now market its Yoomob service directly to potential subscribers via popular social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter and collect subscriptions directly from users via its direct payment channel partner Fortumo. They currently have live mobile payment collection services operating across more than 94 countries with a particular strong focus on emerging markets such as South East Asia.

Following the pilot launch of the “click to pay” platform in Malaysia, the Company expects to rapidly roll out the service to other regions taking advantage of Fortumo’s footprint across the Company’s target markets.

The Company believes its partnership with Fortumo will enable the Yoomob service to scale more rapidly, reduce the cost of new subscriber acquisition, enable cost effective entry into new geographical markets, reduce the Company’s dependence on Telcos and significantly reduce the payment cycle currently experienced with its Telco channel partners.

Jamal Hassim, CEO, commented: This is a transformational moment for the Yoomob service following several months of negotiation and development in partnership with Fortumo. Importantly, the new payment platform will enable us to promote Yoomob content directly to potential subscribers by using their social media preferences, which should be far more accurate and productive than the current SMS approach used by our current Telco partners.

Furthermore, we believe this targeted marketing approach with a rapid payment platform will help us to achieve better growth rates in terms of subscriber numbers and average user spend. Similar to OTT giants Netflix and Hulu, we will be able to use the internet to scale the Yoomob business, albeit in the mass market mobile consumer segment.

Finally, the partnership with Fortumo should not be underestimated by our stakeholders as this relationship considerably de-risks the new payment platform whilst offering the Company the opportunity to enter new territories where it has existing payment networks.

About SyQic

SyQic is a fast growing provider of live TV and on-demand video content across mobile and internet enabled consumer devices. Incorporated in Jersey with offices in Malaysia and the UK, it has a significant service footprint in Singapore, Indonesia and Malaysia.

 

Smart, Sun & Fortumo launch Windows Phone Store carrier billing in the Philippines

Smart Communications, Inc. and Digitel Mobile Philippines, Inc. (DMPI), the mobile subsidiaries of Philippine digital services leader PLDT, are today launching carrier billing on the Windows Phone Store app store. More than 70 million customers of Smart and DMPI’s Sun can now conveniently charge purchases of apps and games from the Windows Phone Store to their phone bill through a 1–click payment.

The integration of the two carriers to Windows Phone Store was done by Fortumo, the mobile payments company that provides direct carrier billing services in over 90 countries to digital and virtual content merchants. Smart & Fortumo have been working together to enable direct carrier billing for merchants since 2014.

“We are thrilled to partner once again with Fortumo to bring carrier billing to our subscribers, this time to allow users to purchase apps and other virtual content on the Windows Phone Store. This will bring much-needed convenience to Windows Phone users since they can easily charge purchases on their postpaid accounts, or have them deducted from their prepaid credits. This is part of our initiative to bring the best and the latest digital services to our consumers so they can experience the ’Smart Life’,” said Mellissa Limcaoco, Innovations and Product Development Group Head at Smart.

According to data from World Bank, less than 3 million Filipinos have access to credit cards while the country is estimated to reach 40 million smartphone owners this year. Therefore in emerging markets like the Philippines, direct carrier billing increases the coverage of users who have access to payments tenfold.

Over the past years, Fortumo has been heavily expanding its presence in Asia, having opened an office in Singapore in October 2014, an addition to existing offices in Beijing, Delhi and Mumbai. Recently the company announced partnerships with Thai carrier Dtac and with Huawei, a globally leading smartphone manufacturer. In total, Fortumo mobile payments are available to end-users in 15 markets across Asia.

Besides the Windows Phone Store, Fortumo’s platform is powering leading platforms and digital content providers in Asia, including Gaana, UCWeb, Box TV, Ditto TV, Mobogenie, Boyaa, Octro, Games2Win and Huawei. To enable global carrier billing for these merchants, Fortumo has partnerships with more than 350 mobile operators across the world, including mobile operator groups such as Telefónica, Telenor, Singtel, Turkcell and Kyivstar, as well as leading mobile operators in India and China.

Fortumo’s direct carrier billing platform allows users to make payments over a data connection by confirming purchases with one click on their phone. Payments are processed without any additional information required from the mobile user which provides a significant conversion improvement compared to any other online payment method such as credit cards.

About Smart

Smart Communications, Inc. (Smart) is the Philippines’ leading mobile services provider that, along with DMPI’s Sun, has more than 70 million subscribers on its GSM network as of end-June 2015. 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 SmartSAT provides communications to the global maritime industry. Smart is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Philippines’ leading telecommunications and digital services provider, PLDT. For more information, visit http://www.smart.com.ph.

1Pay expands payment coverage through partnership with Fortumo

The payment service provider 1Pay and the mobile payments company Fortumo are today announcing a partnership for direct carrier billing in South-East Asia. Merchants using 1Pay are now able to collect payments from their users in Thailand, Vietnam and Indonesia by charging payments to the users’ phone bills.

Mr. Luyen Ngoc Huy, CEO of 1Pay says “1Pay is now expanding its market to South-East Asia with the first move to open office in Indonesia. We certainly look for compatible partners that help us to set up and run business in the shortest time. We chose Fortumo because they have a very flexible system that allows 1Pay to connect and operate quickly. Furthermore, Fortumo is a world-class reputable company. Hopefully, this cooperation brings a good business prospect for both companies in these markets.”

“Integrating mobile operators one-by-one is a difficult process for payment service providers. Each carrier has their own technical setup and negotiations take a long time. We are excited to accelerate the adoption of carrier billing by 1Pay by giving them access to direct carrier billing in several markets through just one integration. For merchants using 1Pay, direct carrier billing gives a significant increase in paying user coverage in markets with extremely low credit card penetration,” said Sanjay Sinha, head of Fortumo India.

1Pay is an open platform for e-payments, working as an intermediary payment gateway. 1Pay mainly focuses on optimizing payment effectiveness, fast speed, high stability, a smart analysis system, multidimensional report, supporting all integration methods and automating the whole process of integration.

Fortumo direct carrier billing is available to more than 350 million mobile phone owners in Thailand, Vietnam and Indonesia. Meanwhile, less than 10 million people in these countries have access to credit cards which means that a majority of smartphone owners are unable to pay for online content through traditional payment methods. In Asia, Fortumo’s direct carrier billing platform is available more than 2.5 billion end-users in 14 countries. Recently, Fortumo announced a partnership with the mobile operator dtac in Thailand.

Fortumo’s direct carrier billing platform allows more than 4 billion end-users to pay merchants using their phone bill in 90 countries across the world. 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.

About 1Pay

1Pay is a startup in Vietnam that provides an open platform for e-payments. Founded in January 2013, 1Pay now becomes one of the leading open platforms for mobile payments in Vietnam. 1Pay’s payment platform supports all types of existing payment services in the market. It also supports a variety of merchants such as technology companies, e-commerce companies, web developers and individuals to easily engage in the system and integrate, use payment methods with many quick, accurate and safe utilities.

With the target of expanding overseas (including Indonesia and Thailand), 1Pay has launched 1Pay ver. 2.0. This version is supporting multi-language, multi-currency, multi-nation and integrating full of payment services in the market (domestic and international banking, scratch card charging, SMS charging, API OTP charging).Besides, the interface of new version has been redesigned to be more suitable and friendly with end users. For more information, please visit https://1pay.vn/home.

Fortumo updates its Emerging Markets Payment Index for Q2 2015

The mobile payments company Fortumo is today publishing the newest version of its Emerging Markets Payment Index. The index highlights user spending behavior and transaction volume changes in the fastest growing smartphone markets of the world.

“The majority of new digital content users are now coming from emerging markets. The costs and complexity of entering these markets increases while the ARPU and margin is decreasing. Our payment index aims to shed some light on these hard to monetize markets by providing merchants with key insights into the fastest growing smartphone regions of the world,” said Martin Koppel, CEO and co-founder of Fortumo.

Last quarter’s payment data shows a slight decline in average revenue per paying user and transaction sizes in most markets. At the same time, transaction volumes continue to grow in double-digit percentages. In Q2, Brazil remained the market with the highest end-user spend ($17.02 quarterly average revenue per paying user) while payment volumes grew most rapidly in Pakistan (81.35% increase compared to Q1 2015).

“Digital content merchants are increasingly adapting their pricing to local markets. This means the average revenue per user remains lower than in Western markets but is compensated by a significant growth in the amount of people who can make payments. We see a similar trend continuing in the future as the percentage of the population in these markets using carrier billing continues to grow,” added Martin Koppel.

The full Emerging Markets Payment Index report can be viewed and downloaded here. The index focuses on markets highlighted by GfK in its global forecast of top smartphone markets for growth by value in 2015: India, Indonesia, South Africa, Brazil, Pakistan, Nigeria, Egypt and Vietnam. These markets have a significantly lower level of access to traditional online payments than mature economies. India and Vietnam for example have a credit card penetration below 2% and in Nigeria 99.3% of all card transactions are conducted on ATMs.

Data in the index has been taken from various platforms (web, mobile web, feature phones, smartphones) and app stores using Fortumo’s direct carrier billing platform. As of August 2015, more than 130,000 merchants have signed up to use Fortumo’s billing solutions.

Fortumo and dtac team up for direct carrier billing in Thailand

The mobile operator dtac (part of Telenor Group) and the mobile payments company Fortumo are today announcing the launch of direct carrier billing in Thailand. Thanks to the partnership, more than 27 million dtac subscribers will now be able to pay for top digital content and gaming by charging purchases to their phone bill.

Mr. Tim Verouden, Senior Vice President, Head of Digital Services, Total Access Communication PLC (dtac), said: “Our partnership with Fortumo is providing convenience to dtac customers with Direct Operator Billing. Customers will be able to pay for top digital content and gaming by charging their purchases to their phone bill. It is our strategy to collaborate with world class partners to attract customers of those partners and leverage their products and services to develop an innovative campaign to maximize the benefits to our customers, as part of our Best in Digital Services strategy aiming to develop innovative digital services to meet customers’ data and internet demands“.

“Only a quarter of the global population has access to credit cards. A majority of the unbanked people are located in emerging markets. This means mobile payments provide a strong alternative to bank-based payments in the fastest growing smartphone markets of the world. We are excited to seize this opportunity together with dtac in the Thai market and build direct carrier billing into the default payment method for online payments in the country,” said Gerri Kodres, Chief Business Officer at Fortumo.

While Thailand has a population of 67 million, only 4 million people have access to credit cards, according to the World Bank. Meanwhile, more than 33 million people already own a smartphone in the country. This means that without carrier billing, gaming and digital merchants miss out on more than 85% of paying users in the country.

Thailand is a mobile-first country: 90% of 18-24 year olds access the internet daily using their mobile phone, according to data from Yozzo . This is also enabled by high 3G penetration rates: 72% of dtac customers have access to a 3G connection. The average amount of data consumption per user in the market is 1.2GB per month.

Fortumo’s internal data shows that 64.8% of paying users in Thailand accessed content from their mobile devices. With the launch of direct carrier billing using header enrichment, these mobile users will be able to make future payments through a 1-click solution. In markets where Fortumo provides direct carrier billing to its merchants, payment conversion for first-time payments is close to 40% and higher for repeat purchases.

Thailand is the second market where Fortumo and Telenor Group have launched direct carrier billing: the two companies have been working together in Pakistan for over a year with a group partnership agreement already in place since 2013. In addition to Telenor, Fortumo also has direct carrier billing partnerships established with Telefónica, Singtel, Turkcell, Kyivstar and leading mobile operators in India and China.

In recent news from Asia, Fortumo has announced a direct carrier billing partnership with Huawei, a leading global information and communications technology (ICT) solutions provider.

Beside carriers and device manufacturers, Fortumo works with most of the leading app stores, gaming and digital content providers in Asia including Box TV, Ditto TV, Gaana, UCWeb, Mobogenie, Boyaa, Octro and Games2Win.