Language learning platform busuu launches carrier billing with Fortumo

The language learning platform busuu and the mobile payments company Fortumo are today announcing the launch of a direct carrier billing partnership. Users of busuu can now pay for busuu Premium by charging purchases to their mobile phone bill, without the need for a credit card.

busuu Premium gives users a more comprehensive learning experience, including interactive grammar units, offline access, certificates and an interactive vocabulary trainer. Carrier billing allows people to subscribe to the service quickly and conveniently, by deducting the payment from their prepaid phone balance or charging it to their monthly phone bill.

In countries like Russia and Indonesia where a large part of busuu’s target audience is located, less than 30% of people have access to a credit card. This means traditional online payments are unavailable to a large part of the population. Carrier billing resolves this problem as it does not require the user to own a credit card or share their personal details online, making it safe and accessible for any mobile phone owner.

“busuu is very popular in emerging markets as an affordable way to learn a language. As a global company, we are striving to tailor our product to the local needs. Where credit card penetration is low, we are striving to offer alternative ways to pay. Fortumo offers payments via a mobile phone and is helping to open busuu to a wider group of customers.” Bernhard Niesner, CEO & co-founder of busuu.

“Digital content consumption, including online learning, is shifting to emerging markets. While smartphone ownership is rapidly growing, most people are unable to access content because they do not own a bank card. We are very happy to work with busuu and solve this issue for them, making access to language learning available to people without credit cards,” said Andrea Boetti, VP of Business Development at Fortumo.

The e-learning industry revenue is expected to reach $52 billion in 2016. The industry’s growth is primarily driven from emerging markets where users do not have access to traditional learning environments due to cost or physical distance, but can access educational content online thanks to the widespread ownership of smartphones. In addition to busuu, Fortumo works with India’s leading mobile tutoring platform Hashlearn in the e-learning segment.

Fortumo’s direct carrier billing platform is also used by app stores (Google Play), digital media providers (Spotify, Sony, HOOQ, Gaana) and gaming companies (EA Mobile, Gameloft, Kinguin, Rovio). To enable carrier billing for these merchants, Fortumo has partnered with more than 350 mobile operators across the world.

About busuu

busuu was founded in 2008 with the goal to empower everyone in the world to learn a new language. The company is committed to revolutionize the language learning process with the use of technology. With over 60 million users and 12 languages to study, busuu’s digital learning apps are globally leading. The company offers free and paid audio-visual language courses and includes direct interaction with native speakers around the world. busuu has received several awards such as “Best Education Start-up in Europe” and was named as “Best Google Play App 2015.” The company is named after the language of Busuu in Cameroon, spoken by only eight people. For more information, please visit https://www.busuu.com.

Local services marketing platform mydala launches carrier billing in the Middle East with Fortumo

India’s leading local services marketing platform, mydala is today announcing a partnership with the mobile payments company Fortumo. The first region where mydala is rolling out carrier billing with Fortumo is the Middle East, with payments launched initially in Dubai. mydala customers here can now purchase discounted deal offerings conveniently by charging payments to their mobile phone bill.

Speaking on the partnership, Anisha Singh, Founder & CEO, mydala.com, said, “We have been talking about better payment solutions in India for the longest time. It is the way forward if we really want to progress. mydala made a push for mobile payments in India four years ago and we have seen a spike in adoption of digital wallets and other innovative digital payment solutions. We chose to work with Fortumo as they are a reliable and stable partner given their experience in the payments market. We look forward to working with them to provide great value to our customers in Dubai.”

“Digital commerce is moving to mobile devices and this has resulted in merchants needing to readjust their monetization strategy. Card-based payments are popular in Western markets where content consumption also happens on desktop devices. But in India and the Middle East, most people are mobile-only with no access to credit cards. We are excited to help mydala in their global expansion by providing their customers with carrier billing, the most accessible and user-friendly payment method globally,” said Sanjay Sinha, head of Fortumo India.

With internet consumption now predominantly coming from mobile devices, carrier billing has become a suitable replacement for card-based payments. Small-screen devices are unsuitable for the long checkout flows of credit cards, where users need to enter personal information and fill out long forms. Instead, carrier billing uses only the consumer’s phone number to authorize the payment.

In the United Arab Emirates, only 37% of people own a credit card. At the same time, over 80% of people already have a smartphone. This means most people shopping online are unable to make payments to merchants. Carrier billing solves this issue by allowing any mobile phone owner to charge payments either to their monthly phone bill or deduct them from a prepaid SIM card. Additional information on carrier billing in the Middle Eastern region can be found from Fortumo’s recent market report.

To expand their payment reach, mydala is using Fortumo’s cross-platform mobile payments product integrated into their web portal. This product enables reaching users in over 90 countries through one integration, while being available on both desktop web, mobile web and inside applications. Localization (support for 50 languages and 40 currencies) and platform-adaptive checkout flows increase user-friendliness of making payments, thus increasing conversion and revenue for merchants.

About mydala
Established in 2009, mydala is India’s largest local services marketing platform for large brands, merchants and advertisers involved in providing consumer products and services; enabled by their 150,000+ advertiser and merchant base to target 400 million consumers across 209 cities in India. mydala’s footprint and reach offers customized and cost-effective solutions to advertisers and merchants to reach their target audience through attractive offers and promotional campaigns. mydala has 4 million transacting customers monthly and enables over 300 cr of retail every month. For more information, please visit http://www.mydala.com/.

Telenor-Fortumo partnership extends to Hungary and Bulgaria

The mobile payments company Fortumo and the mobile operator Telenor are today launching a direct carrier billing partnership in Hungary and Bulgaria. Starting today, more than 6 million subscribers of Telenor in the two markets will be able to make payments in app stores, inside games and with digital merchants by charging payments to their mobile phone bill.

Fortumo and Telenor have been working together since 2013 and have previously launched direct carrier billing in Malaysia, Thailand and Pakistan. After the launch in Hungary, carrier billing with merchants using Fortumo is now available to more than 81 million Telenor subscribers.

“Telenor Group has been one of the forerunners in enabling telecom assets to power digital services. Fortumo is proud to continue our ongoing good partnership with Telenor and launch our payment platform in Hungary and Bulgaria. The world’s largest streaming services, app stores, social and gaming companies have plugged into Fortumo’s platform to collect revenue from users who do not have credit card, or find it inconvenient to use card payments online,” said Gerri Kodres, Chief Business Officer at Fortumo. Additional information on carrier billing in Hungary and other Central & Eastern European markets can be found from Fortumo’s market report.

Fortumo’s carrier billing platform is used by app stores (Google Play), digital media providers (Spotify, Sony, HOOQ, Gaana) and gaming companies (EA Mobile, Gameloft, Kinguin, Rovio). To enable carrier billing for these merchants, Fortumo has partnered with more than 350 mobile operators across the world.

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.

Telia Estonia and Fortumo launch carrier billing on Google Play

The mobile operator Telia Estonia and the mobile payments company Fortumo are today launching direct carrier billing on the Google Play app store. Telia’s customers can now conveniently purchase apps and in-app content from the app store by charging payments to their phone bill.

“Adding mobile payments for Google Play is a logical step for Telia. Android users make up the majority of our subscriber base and now they can conveniently make payments in the app store. The popularity of mobile payments is growing rapidly and we plan to expand availability of this service in the future. Today, Telia’s customers can already make mobile payments with dozens of partner companies,” said Holger Haljand, board member of Telia Estonia.

“Carrier billing is the most convenient and accessible way for people to make payments in Google Play and other app stores. Telia is the leading carrier group in Scandinavia and the Baltics and we are proud to launch Google Play in Telia Estonia as the first carrier in the group. Fortumo’s unique expertise in the region and our industry-leading billing platform will help Telia to grow payment revenue both from app stores and other digital merchants,” said Taavi Krusell, Carrier Sales Director at Fortumo.

Telia’s integration to Google Play has been enabled by Fortumo’s carrier billing platform that supports both app stores such as Google Play and digital merchants in other segments like music, video, social and gaming. As part of the agreement, Fortumo also provides Telia with Fortumo Insight, a smart data analytics platform which helps track and analyze app store performance and make improvements to grow carrier billing revenue.

In addition to Google Play, Fortumo’s direct carrier billing platform is used by digital media providers (Spotify, Sony, HOOQ, Gaana) and gaming companies (EA Mobile, Gameloft, Kinguin, Rovio). In order to enable global carrier billing for these merchants, Fortumo has partnered with more than 350 mobile operators across the world, including the groups Telenor, Orange, T-Mobile, Telefonica and Singtel, as well as leading mobile operators in India.

Smartfren and Fortumo launch direct carrier billing in Indonesia

The mobile payments company Fortumo and the mobile operator Smartfren are announcing the launch of direct carrier billing in Indonesia. Thanks to the partnership, 12.5 million subscribers of Smartfren can now make online payments without the need for a credit card by charging payments to their mobile account.

Out of 250 million Indonesians, only 5 million have a credit card, according to the World Bank. At the same time, there are more than 65 million smartphone users in the country. This means that while most people have access to online content, 9 out of 10 people are unable to pay for it. Carrier billing resolves this problem for merchants, enabling any mobile phone owner (both prepaid and postpaid) to charge payments to their mobile phone bill.

“As one of the leading mobile data providers in the market, Smartfren always provide an easy and smart solution for the customer. With direct carrier billing supported by Fortumo, our subscriber will be able to purchase their in-app items and premium memberships as easy as deducting their own Smartfren balance or bill, and this is fully supported by our widest 4G LTE network for the best experience to enjoy the services,” said Revie Sylviana, Senior Vice President of Digital Services at Smartfren.

“Integrating with Fortumo means carriers do not have to invest time and resources into growing their revenue from carrier billing. Our partnerships with leading digital merchants from all segments of the industry help carriers quickly scale up their revenue. We are very happy to partner with Smartfren and give access to online payments for millions of their subscribers,” said Siddharth Sahi, Vice President of Business Development & Carrier Relations at Fortumo.

In recent news from the region, Fortumo announced a partnership with Globe in the Philippines and Tri in Indonesia. Additional information on Fortumo’s presence in the region and data on the carrier billing ecosystem can be found from Fortumo’s Asia market report. Fortumo recently also published a white paper for mobile operators with guidance on how to manage risk and fraud in light of growing transaction volumes through carrier billing.

Fortumo’s direct carrier billing platform is used by leading app stores (Google Play, Windows Phone Store), digital media companies (Spotify, Sony, HOOQ, Gaana) and gaming companies (EA Mobile, Gameloft, Kinguin, Rovio). To enable global carrier billing for these merchants, Fortumo has partnered with more than 350 mobile operators across the world.

About Smartfren

Smartfren (IDX: FREN) is one of the leading telecommunications service provider in Indonesia. Smartfren began operating in Indonesia since 2011. In 2015 Smartfren implemented 4G LTE Advanced services in Indonesia and positioning Smartfren as the widest 4G LTE in Indonesia. Smartfren offer a variety of products as well as voice and data services, business solutions and services Value Added Services (VAS). Smartfren is one of business unit of Sinarmas. For more information please visit www.smartfren.com.

Spotify Expands Carrier Billing Availability in Asia with Fortumo

Fortumo, the international mobile payment provider, announced its partnership with Spotify today. As part of this partnership, Fortumo has introduced a carrier billing program specifically for Spotify users in Indonesia and Philippines.

“Asia leads the growth of online content consumption and digital merchants are increasingly focusing on user acquisition in the region. Collecting payments from these users is not easy however, as most people do not own a credit card. Carrier billing solves this problem by letting any mobile phone owner make online payments. We are very happy to help Spotify grow and monetize their user base in Asia,” said Andrea Boetti, Vice President of Global Business Development at Fortumo.

“As a brand, we are always looking at ways for music fans to conveniently access Spotify Premium. We are excited to be working with Fortumo, whose services will increase the current payment options we have for our customers. The successful work we’ve done with Fortumo in Asia sits well in our wider plan to offer Spotify customers various payment methods relevant to them, and specific to their location,” said Patrik Falk, Head of Direct Subscriptions for Spotify at Asia Pacific.

Patrik adds, “With Spotify Premium, you will be able to play your favourite music on demand, and offline, with no interruption of ads in between.”

Spotify uses Fortumo’s Payments API which allows merchants to take advantage of the bigger reach of carrier billing while preserving features of card-based payment processing such as free trial support, flexible pricing and control over the billing cycle. Merchant-branded checkout flows supported by the API increase user trust during the checkout process and authenticating the user over a data connection means payments can be completed in a few seconds.

Fortumo is the leading provider of carrier billing in Asia as its payment solutions are available to more than 1.6 billion consumers in 16 countries of the region. The company has offices in Beijing, Delhi, Singapore and Hanoi, providing merchants with local expertise and facilitating relationships with mobile operators. In recent news from the region, Fortumo announced a partnership with  Indosat in Indonesia. As part of the Spotify network, Fortumo also works with Smart and Globe  in the Philippines.

Fortumo’s carrier billing platform is used by app stores (Google Play, Windows Phone Store), digital media providers (Sony, HOOQ, Gaana) and gaming companies (EA Mobile, Gameloft, Kinguin, Rovio). To enable carrier billing for these merchants, Fortumo has partnered with more than 350 mobile operators across the world.

For fans who are keen to enjoy Spotify Premium, please visit Spotify for more information.

About Spotify:

Spotify is an award-winning digital music service that gives you on-demand access to over 30 million tracks. Our dream is to make all the world’s music available instantly to everyone, wherever and whenever you are. Spotify makes it easier than ever to discover, manage and share music with your friends, while making sure that artists get a fair deal.

Spotify is now available in 60 markets globally with more than 100 million active users*, and over 40 million paying subscribers**.

Since its launch in Sweden in 2008, Spotify has driven more than US$5bn to rights holders. Spotify is the biggest and most successful music streaming service of its kind globally. www.spotify.com

For more information, images, or to contact the team, please head over to our press page at http://press.spotify.com/

*As of June 2016
**As of September 2016

India’s leading mobile tutoring platform HashLearn launches carrier billing with Fortumo

The mobile payments company Fortumo and the mobile tutoring platform HashLearn are today announcing the launch of a carrier billing partnership. HashLearn users in India can now purchase access to instant tutoring sessions for both school and entrance exams like the JEE/NEET by charging payments to their prepaid/postpaid mobile phone bills. Carrier billing through Fortumo is available to all 870 million subscribers of Airtel, Vodafone, Idea, Reliance, Aircel and Tata.

“HashLearn’s vision is to make tutoring affordable and accessible by leveraging the mobile phone. Allowing our users to purchase HashLearn tutoring packs through their mobile operator makes the experience seamless and hassle-free. Partnering with Fortumo was an obvious choice considering they are a global leader in the space,” said Jayadev Gopalakrishnan, CEO & co-founder of HashLearn.

“India is one of the few countries in the world where the smartphone ownership growth rate is increasing. The growing mobile audience is a huge opportunity for digital merchants, but lagging banking infrastructure means traditional online payments methods are available to very few people. We are very happy to partner with HashLearn and enable their customers to make payments using carrier billing, the most widely available payment method in India,” said Sanjay Sinha, Country Manager of Fortumo India.

While there are already 220 million smartphone users in India, less than 4% of the country’s population has a credit card. In the young adults age group (15-24 years) the number is even lower, with just 3% having a credit card according to the World Bank. This means most smartphone owners cannot access online services as they are unable to pay for it. Carrier billing resolves this problem by enabling payments to any prepaid or postpaid mobile account owner.

The popularity of carrier billing among younger audiences is also visible from Fortumo’s internal payments data. In 2016, an estimated 41% of users who paid using carrier billing belonged to the 18-24 years age group and a further 30% to the 25-34 years age group. Additional data on India’s mobile ecosystem and carrier billing can be found from Fortumo’s India market report.

Besides HashLearn, Fortumo’s direct carrier billing platform is used by leading app stores (Google Play, Windows Phone Store), digital media companies (Sony, HOOQ, Gaana) and gaming companies (EA Mobile, Gameloft, Kinguin, Rovio). To enable global carrier billing for these merchants, Fortumo has partnered with more than 350 mobile operators across the world. In recent news from India, Fortumo announced a direct carrier billing partnership with the mobile operator Reliance.

About HashLearn
Founded by serial entrepreneur Jayadev Gopalakrishnan and technologist Gokul Janga, HashLearn is an on-demand tutoring app that connects students to tutors from IITs/BITS/AIIMS & leading institutions, instantly, 24/7. HashLearn is backed by leading angels including the founders of Flipkart, Ola, People Group and the MD of Google India/SE Asia.

Cellcard & Fortumo launch direct carrier billing in Cambodia

Leading Cambodian mobile operator Cellcard and mobile payments company Fortumo announced today the launch of their direct carrier billing partnership, which allows over 4 million Cellcard subscribers to pay for digital content by simply charging payments to their mobile phone bill.

“We chose Fortumo as our partner for direct carrier billing due to their long-term presence in Asia and their use of an advanced, reliable technological platform,” said Cellcard CEO Ian Watson. “Our subscribers will now be able to easily access content from the world’s largest digital media companies, which would otherwise be unavailable for any subscriber without access to a credit card or an online payment account.”

Siddharth Sahi, Fortumo Vice President of Business Development & Carrier Relations, said his company was uniquely positioned to provide access to both global app stores as well as leading digital merchants.

“Our partnership with Cellcard further cements Fortumo’s position as a leading carrier billing provider for emerging markets,” he said. “We are excited to work together with Cellcard and enable online payments for millions of their subscribers in Cambodia.”

More than 15 million Cambodians own a mobile phone, of which 6 million are smartphones. Over the past year, local smartphone ownership has jumped from 26% to 40%. Only 5% of Cambodians, however, own a bank card, making online payments inaccessible for a majority of people. Carrier billing provides an opportunity for both mobile operators and digital content merchants to grow their online payment reach in Cambodia through direct carrier billing.

Fortumo’s direct carrier billing platform is used by leading app stores (Google Play, Windows Phone Store), digital media companies (Sony, Hooq, Gaana) and game developers (EA Mobile, Gameloft, Rovio). To enable global carrier billing for these merchants, Fortumo partners with more than 350 mobile operators across the world.

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.

Meanwhile, Fortumo recently announced direct carrier billing partnerships with Reliance Communications in India, Zong in Pakistan and Viettel in Vietnam for payments on Google Play. In the Asia Pacific region, the company’s direct carrier billing platform is available to 1.5 billion consumers in 16 countries. More information on Asia’s carrier billing ecosystem can be found in Fortumo’s recent market report.

Elisa Estonia launches carrier billing on Google Play with Fortumo

The mobile payments company Fortumo and the mobile operator Elisa Estonia are today announcing the launch of direct carrier billing on the Google Play app store. Elisa’s subscribers can now purchase apps and in-app content on Google Play by charging payments to their mobile phone bill.

“Elisa is very glad to launch carrier billing on Google Play as the opportunity to purchase games, music and movies from the app store without needing a credit card is a very convenient solution for our customers. We chose to work with Fortumo for Google Play payments as they are a company with long-term experience in the payments market, operating in 94 countries. As such, they are a reliable and stable partner for us,” said Andrus Hiiepuu, Board Member of Elisa.

“Smartphone ownership globally is significantly bigger today than the amount of people who can make payments online. This is due to many people not having access to bank-based payments and others not wanting to enter their card details online due to fear of fraud. Carrier billing solves these challenges by making safe online payments available to everyone and we are very happy to work together with Elisa in launching this payment method for Google Play,” said Taavi Krusell, Carrier Sales Director at Fortumo.

Integrating Google Play through Fortumo allowed Elisa to save time and resources on development. The same integration will also allow Elisa to launch other merchants that are already connected to Fortumo’s platform, ranging from game developers to streaming service providers, social networks to financial technology companies. Elisa will also get access to Fortumo Insight which enables carriers to view carrier billing performance in real-time and make improvements to increase revenue.

Among others, Fortumo’s platform is used for app store billing by DNA in Finland, Viettel in Vietnam and Smart in the Philippines. Besides leading app stores, Fortumo also works with digital media companies (Sony, Hooq, Ditto TV, Gaana), gaming companies (EA Mobile, Gameloft, Kinguin, Rovio), digital publishers (Magzter) and financial technology providers.

In order to enable global carrier billing for these merchants, Fortumo has partnered with more than 350 mobile operators across the world, including the groups Telefónica, Telenor, Singtel, Turkcell and Kyivstar, as well as leading mobile operators in India.

Indosat Ooredoo and Fortumo Launch Direct Carrier Billing in Indonesia

The mobile payments company Fortumo and Indonesia’s leading digital telco Indosat Ooredoo are today announcing the launch of direct carrier billing. The partnership will enable 69.8 million Indosat Ooredoo subscribers’ to make online payments by charging purchases to their mobile account, without the need to use a credit card.

“We are pleased to build this strategic collaboration with Fortumo — one that will bring more benefits to Indosat Ooredoo customer and allow transactions at a wider network of merchants. We look forward to continuing to provide innovation that brings more value to our customers as part of our goal to become a leading digital telco,” said Prashant Gokarn, Chief of New Business and Innovation at Indosat Ooredoo.

Fortumo’s direct carrier billing platform is used by leading app stores (Google Play, Windows Phone Store), digital media companies (Sony, HOOQ, Gaana) and gaming companies (EA Mobile, Gameloft, Kinguin, Rovio). To enable global carrier billing for these merchants, Fortumo has partnered with more than 350 mobile operators across the world.

“Connecting with Fortumo gives mobile operators immediate access to additional revenue from all the segments of the digital industry. We are excited to partner with Indosat Ooredoo on carrier billing and look forward to growing revenue from carrier billing, the payment method with the widest coverage in Indonesia,” said Siddharth Sahi, Vice President of Business Development & Carrier Relations at Fortumo.

While there are over 65 million smartphone owners in Indonesia – [Source : We are Social], less than 5 million people have access to credit cards. This means a majority of the digital population cannot make online payments. As a consequence, digital merchants lose out on revenue from a majority of the population. Carrier billing resolves this problem by allowing any mobile phone owner (both prepaid and postpaid) to make payments through Fortumo.

About Indosat Ooredoo

Indosat Ooredoo (IDX:ISAT), member of Ooredoo Group, is building Indonesia’s leading digital telco, enabling access and greater connectivity for everybody and every business. Focusing on human growth, Indosat Ooredoo aspires to enrich the lives of Indonesians in the digital world and proactively offer solutions to fulfill their needs. The company reported 69.8 million mobile customers as per first quarter 2016 and has recorded an increase of 52.5% in data usage compared to last year. Supported by 3,000 employees, Indosat Ooredoo has recorded an increase in revenue of 11.8% compared to last year. Indosat Ooredoo was recognized in the Most Innovative Company of the Year category in the 2015 Asia Pacific Stevie Award. For more information, please visit https://indosatooredoo.com.

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