Deutsche Telekom connects Fortumo for direct carrier billing

Partnership covers 250 million Deutsche Telekom subscribers in 12 markets

The mobile payments company Fortumo is today launching direct carrier billing with the European mobile operator group Deutsche Telekom. The first market to be connected to Fortumo’s direct carrier billing platform is the Czech Republic with 6 million subscribers of T-Mobile. The partnership aims to enable Fortumo to provide payments to merchants in 12 countries where Deutsche Telekom operates.

“Carrier billing is an increasingly important source of revenue for mobile operators. Fortumo accelerates this growth for carriers by enabling payments with the largest amount of top-tier merchants, ranging from app stores and game developers to digital streaming services and security solution vendors. We are excited to partner with Deutsche Telekom to increase the value of carrier billing for all parties involved,” said Gerri Kodres, Chief Business Officer at Fortumo.

Carrier billing is now the 3rd most popular payment method for digital gaming transactions, having grown 11% in 2015 and accounting for 14.4% of all online payments, according to the research company SuperDataResearch. As smartphone adoption continues to outpace the coverage of bank-based payments, digital merchants are focusing on carrier billing to generate revenue that cannot be collected with other payment methods.

Direct carrier billing 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 user which provides a significant conversion improvement compared to any other online payment method.

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 has partnered with more than 350 mobile operators across the world. In recent news from Europe, Fortumo announced a partnership with the mobile operator group Orange.

Digital games marketplace Kinguin launches carrier billing with Fortumo

The digital games marketplace Kinguin and the mobile payments company Fortumo are today announcing the launch of a carrier billing partnership. Kinguin users can now purchase games and in-game items from Kinguin by charging payments to their mobile phone bill, without the need for a credit card.

Kinguin’s gaming portfolio contains thousands of products at the lowest prices, ranging from downloadable games to CS:GO skins. Gamers can now buy these items through carrier billing with Fortumo and make payments in a seamless way, without having to sign up for additional accounts or enter their credit card details.

“We give our customers the freedom to choose from our wide range of payment services we offer. We have noticed demand for mobile payment services from our customers. Partnering with mobile payment companies such as Fortumo enables us to reach customers who are willing to pay by phone with best possible fees,” said Faheem Bakshi, Vice President of Global Expansion at Kinguin.

“A growing amount of gamers are located in countries where traditional online payment methods are scarcely available and where gaming growth outpaces traditional markets. Fortumo helps game developers, marketplaces and e-sports streaming platforms reach users in over 90 countries by giving anyone with a mobile phone access to online payments. We are very happy that Kinguin has selected us as their partner and look forward to growing their revenue from the unbanked audience,” said Andrea Boetti, Vice President of Global Business Development at Fortumo.

According to SuperDataResearch, carrier billing is the third most popular payment method for digital gaming transactions globally, after bank card and eWallet payments. The payment method is most popular in Latin America, Eastern Europe and Asia Pacific due to low ownership of bank cards. Only 24% of Brazilian, 14% of Russian and 3% of Thai young adults (15-24 year olds) own a credit card, according to the World Bank. This means most gamers in emerging markets are unable to make payments online. Carrier billing solves this issue by enabling payments for a younger, unbanked audience, but also for those users who are reluctant to share their credit card details online.

Besides Kinguin, 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 has partnered with more than 350 mobile operators across the world.

About Kinguin.net
Kinguin.net is one of the most popular marketplaces in the world for digital games, with thousands of products available and more than 3 million satisfied customers. Kinguin provides a vast selection of Triple-A titles and in-game products like CS:GO skins. To learn more about Kinguin please visit kinguin.net.

Fortumo publishes risk management guide for mobile operators

The mobile payments company Fortumo is today publishing its carrier billing risk management guide for mobile operators. This guide allows carriers to get a better understanding on how to monitor payment traffic for fraudulent activity and mitigate risk of bad debt by managing user spend limits while encouraging spending from legitimate users. The guide is available to carriers for free on SlideShare.

“App stores and digital companies are adopting carrier billing at an increasing rate and the global volumes have grown bigger than ever before. The flipside of this is that fraudsters also try to exploit carrier billing more, increasing bad debt and impacting the business model. The question becomes how to undermine fraud while making sure regular users would not suffer. Our guide is intended to provide actionable guidance for mobile operators on the topic,” said Gerri Kodres, Chief Business Officer at Fortumo.

Fortumo recommends carriers to approach risk mitigation from two angles. First, each carrier billing transaction should be evaluated by an automatic risk scoring engine which assesses whether a transaction seems fraudulent, i.e. whether it should be processed or not. Second, setting custom spending limits to users based on their risk score and dynamically modifying these spending limits helps lower the likelihood of bad debt.

At the same time, Fortumo urges carriers not to exaggerate with fraud management, resulting in legitimate users being unable to spend. “We have seen instances where users with a low risk score are unable to make payments due to incorrectly configured spend limits. Proper risk management deals with the threats without compromising revenue generation abilities,” added Gerri Kodres.

Risk management for carrier billing works in combination of input from carriers (subscriber identity, account age, subscriber group, provisioning status, past record), payment service providers like Fortumo (high-level market data, payment history of each subscriber, IP, cookie and geolocation information) and merchants (merchant-specific user identity and behavior information). As a combination of these criteria, individual transactions can be assessed as well as spending limits applied to specific users and user groups.

Managing risk helps carriers avoid situations where their subscribers encounter bill shock (realizing they have made more purchases than they expected). This in turn reduces customer complaints, chargeback request as well as potential issues with regulators. Having a proper risk management solution in place helps carriers increase their revenue (enabling higher spending limits and allowing transactions from low-risk, high-spending users) while minimizing revenue losses (reduced amount of fraudulent payments and bad debt).

Fortumo has previously made available to carriers its analytics platform Fortumo Insight which can be used to assess user activation, spending patterns and effectiveness of marketing campaigns related to carrier billing. The company’s new guide helps carriers decode the data available to them from a risk management perspective and for example assess how spending limits for different subscriber groups should be set up.

Globe partners with mobile payments company Fortumo for enhanced direct carrier billing service

Philippines’ number one mobile brand Globe Telecom and the mobile payments company Fortumo have sealed a partnership to launch enhanced direct carrier billing in the country. With this collaboration, over 52 million Globe customers will be able to use their mobile phones to make payments in various app stores, as well as for digital services and games.

Direct carrier billing, significantly increases the amount of users who are able to make online payments. In the Philippines, only 3% of Filipinos have access to a credit card while smartphone penetration has reached 40%and is forecasted to grow to 70% during the next 2 years. With Fortumo and Globe, more people will be able to make payments online through carrier billing compared to bank-based payments.

“The continuous rise in smartphone penetration alongside the drastic adoption of the digital lifestyle has made more and more Filipinos dependent on their mobile devices. Customers continue to be on the lookout for a better mobile experience including conveniences such as making payments. With Fortumo, we will be able to provide our customers an improved experience by providing the convenience of making payments on any app store, including the in-app purchases,” said Dan Horan, Globe Senior Advisor for Consumer Business.

“Fortumo has been the preferred choice for carriers in Asia because of our strong focus on the region and local presence. Our industry-leading platform is capable of delivering all major segments of the digital ecosystem to carriers. This includes large app stores, music and video streaming services, game developers and social networks. We are very excited to partner with Globe and enable direct carrier billing to their subscribers with some of the largest digital media companies in the world,” said Gerri Kodres, Chief Business Officer at Fortumo.

Besides app stores such as Google Play and Windows Phone Store, Fortumo’s direct carrier billing platform is used by Asia’s leading streaming providers, including Sony, HOOQ and Gaana as well as top game developers and device manufacturers like UCWeb (Alibaba), Tencent and Huawei. Fortumo’s platform is also open to any local app developer to integrate and launch carrier billing services regionally or globally.

In addition to digital content, Fortumo’s direct carrier billing platform also supports payment processing for financial services, such as topping up virtual credit cards or wallets. This is achieved through token-based, two step charging. “We are seeing a growing interest from financial service providers in leveraging carrier billing in Asia for use in their payment products. We expect the first initiatives in this segment to take off during 2016,” added Gerri Kodres.

Previously, Fortumo has launched direct carrier billing with the other mobile operators in the Philippines. The newly formed partnership with Globe means Fortumo now covers 100% of the mobile subscriber base in the country. In the Asia Pacific region, Fortumo’s direct carrier billing platform is available in 17 countries to more than 1.6 billion mobile users.

About Globe Telecom
Globe Telecom is a leading full service telecommunications company in the Philippines, serving the needs of consumers and businesses across an entire suite of products and services including mobile, fixed, broadband, data connections, internet and managed services.  Its principals are Ayala Corporation and Singtel who are acknowledged industry leaders in the country and in the region. For more information, visit www.globe.com.ph. Follow Globe Telecom on Facebook at www.facebook.com/GlobePH as well as @enjoyglobe on Twitter and Instagram.

Orange & Fortumo carrier billing partnership launches first in Poland

The mobile payments company Fortumo and the mobile operator group Orange are today announcing a direct carrier billing partnership, covering 29 markets in which Orange operates. The first country where the payment solution has been launched is Poland where more than 16 million Orange Polska subscribers will be able to make online payments by charging purchases to their mobile phone bill.

“I am more than happy that we start working with Fortumo in order to launch direct carrier billing for Fortumo’s international merchants in Poland. It was possible thanks to cooperation with Orange Group and the Group’s platform that enables partners using only one link to provide direct carrier billing to every Orange affiliate. Direct carrier billing eliminates all the imperfections that concerns Premium SMS both for our subscribers and to merchants by providing a convenient, quick and secure method of payment. I deeply believe that in the nearest future we will have a lot of services based on direct carrier billing in Poland”, said Łukasz Perzyński, head of premium rate services agency at Orange Polska.

“Fortumo’s platform enables carriers to launch payments across a wide variety of streaming services, app stores, games and social networks, taking away merchant onboarding and integration hassles from the carrier. Orange is one of the leading telecom groups in Europe, the Middle-East and Africa, and Fortumo is glad to enable digital payments for millions of Orange users,” said Gerri Kodres, Chief Business Officer at Fortumo.

According to the World Bank, only 17% of Poles have a credit card, which means online payments are unavailable to most people in the country. At the same time, 41% of Poles already own a smartphone and consume digital content online. Carrier billing resolves the gap in payments by allowing any mobile phone owner to make purchases and charge the payments to their phone bill.

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.

SuperDataResearch estimates carrier billing to be the 2nd most popular payment method in Poland (19.4%) after digital wallets for payments in games. Additional information on the Polish mobile market and other countries in Central & Eastern Europe can be found from Fortumo’s recent market report.

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). In order to enable global carrier billing for these merchants, Fortumo has partnered with more than 350 mobile operators across the world.

Tri Indonesia & Fortumo Launch Direct Carrier Billing in Indonesia

The mobile payments company Fortumo and PT Hutchison 3 Indonesia – the owner of 3 (Tri) GSM provider – are today announcing the launch of direct carrier billing in Indonesia. 55.5 million subscribers of Tri will now be able to make online payments with merchants using Fortumo by charging payments to their mobile phone credit.

“As a mobile broadband provider in Indonesia, we understand that digital, including online payment and other online transaction, is part of our subscriber lifestyle. Fortumo is a well recognized carrier billing provider with local expertise in Asian markets. Being able to plug in a large number of both globally and locally popular merchants through one integration was an attractive proposition and we look forward to working with Fortumo, giving more value added service to our subscribers for their digital lifestyle,” said Dolly Susanto, Chief Sales and Marketing Officer of Hutchison 3 Indonesia.

“Indonesia has one of the biggest and most quickly growing digital populations in Asia. But a majority of the population cannot make online payments due to a lacking bank infrastructure. Indonesian carriers have the opportunity to seize the payments market and increase revenue by enabling payments for digital content. We are very happy to be working with Hutchison 3 and connecting their subscribers to the world’s leading digital entertainment companies,” said Siddharth Sahi, Vice President of Business Development & Carrier Relations at Fortumo.

Indonesia has 259 million mobile phone users and 55 million smartphone users, a number which is estimated to grow 17% this year. At the same time, only 4 million people in the country have a credit card. This means most people in the country can access online content but are unable to pay for it. Carrier billing solves this issue by allowing any phone owner to make payments. As a result, both carriers and digital merchants can increase their payment coverage and revenue through carrier billing.

Direct carrier billing 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.

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 has partnered with more than 350 mobile operators across the world.

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

About Hutchison 3 Indonesia (H3I)

Hutchison 3 Indonesia (H3I) is Hutchison Asia Telecom’s Indonesian subsidiary, which commenced its operations back in 2007. H3I, under the brand 3 (Tri), has since then expanded its mobile broadband network in almost all populated areas of Indonesia across the 5 main islands of Java, Sumatra, Kalimantan, Sulawesi & Bali. H3I has 2G, 3G and 4G/LTE licenses and has rolled out ultra-modern network with close to 40,000 total BTS sites, covering 86% of the Indonesia’s population. Since 2007, H3I has grown its business to empower 55.5m customers as of now, for all their digital connectivity needs. Most of 3 users are young generation & early adopters of digital era. H3I’s success is founded on commitment to innovation, leading edge mobile technology and trustworthy services, with a vision to make Indonesia a digital nation.

Fortumo launches direct carrier billing in India with Reliance Communications

Reliance customers can now enjoy a range of digital entertainment content through their mobile account based payments

India’s leading mobile operator Reliance Communications (RCOM) and the mobile payment platform provider Fortumo are today announcing the launch of direct carrier billing in India. With this development, all customers of RCOM will be able to make purchases for digital content and games by charging the payments to their mobile bill or mobile prepaid account.

Reliance customers can now enjoy a host of digital entertainment content on the move on their mobile devices, across movies, music, games and live TV, starting from just Rs. 10 for 1 day of access. RCOM customers can watch Sony TV Channels through the SonyLiv app, live Zee Channels through Ditto TV app, watch video-on-demand with Hollywood & Indian movies on BoxTV, listen to music online on Gaana, browse through Indian and International digital magazines at the world’s largest newsstand Magzter and play games of Rovio, Octro, Gamebasics and many more, all by paying through their mobile postpaid bill and mobile prepaid account.

“Leading app stores and digital content merchants are very keen to launch direct carrier billing in India due to the quickly growing smartphone ecosystem. Fortumo has emerged as one of the leaders in providing carrier billing in India. We are very excited to partner with Reliance to help launch app stores and merchants rapidly. Working with Fortumo reduces time to market and resources needed to launch carrier billing for both carriers and merchants,” said Sanjay Sinha, Country Manager of Fortumo India.

India is a market very well suited for direct carrier billing. While only 4% of people in the country have access to credit cards, Fortumo’s platform allows content partners to collect payments from any mobile phone owner. This can be done regardless of whether the consumer has a prepaid SIM card or a postpaid contract with their mobile operator.

Fortumo makes a push in Africa, launching payments in Cote d’Ivoire, Ethiopia & Senegal

The mobile payments company Fortumo is today announcing that it has launched direct carrier billing in 3 new African markets. More than 52 million people in Cote d’Ivoire, Ethiopia and Senegal can now make seamless digital payments and get the purchases charged to their mobile phone bill. App stores, digital merchants and game developers using Fortumo can now significantly increase their online payments reach in some of the most underbanked countries of the world.

In Cote d’Ivoire, Ethiopia and Senegal the percentage of bank card owners is only 2%. At the same time, carrier billing is available to any prepaid or postpaid mobile account owner. This means merchants using carrier billing can reach a paying audience twenty times bigger than with traditional payment methods.

“Quick economic growth coupled with access to low-cost smartphones has positioned Africa as an exciting region for digital content merchants. At the same time, it has been difficult to accept payments from users as the continent is very diverse and fragmented. Carrier billing solves this challenge by allowing merchants to integrate one pervasive payment method which is accessible to any mobile phone owner regardless of their location,” said Gerri Kodres, Chief Business Officer at Fortumo.

The company is also keeping a keen eye out for opportunities in new business segments such as enabling carrier billing for financial service providers. “While traditional bank-based payments do not generally work in Africa, we are looking at collaborating with virtual credit card providers and digital wallet merchants to enable them expansion into African markets through topping up these accounts via carrier billing,” added Kodres.

Fortumo now covers 21 countries in the Middle East & North African region, with 7 countries in Sub-Saharan Africa (Cote d’Ivoire, Ethiopia, Kenya, Mozambique, Nigeria, Senegal and South Africa). The company also plans to add additional markets in Africa later in 2016. In total, nearly 600 million mobile users have access to carrier billing through Fortumo in the Middle Eastern & African region. Additional data and insights into the region’s carrier billing ecosystem can be found from Fortumo’s market report.

Fortumo’s direct carrier billing platform allows merchants to quickly scale up their carrier billing offering by integrating payments once and launching them in all countries covered by Fortumo simultaneously. Beside the technical platform, Fortumo also helps merchants with business support services (such as end-user support) and negotiating new mobile operator partnerships for connectivity and promotions.

Globally, Fortumo has the largest carrier billing coverage in the industry with its payment products being available to more than 3 billion consumers in 96 countries. Merchants using the company’s direct carrier billing platform include app stores (Google Play, Windows Phone Store), digital streaming service providers (Sony, Hooq) and game developers (Electronic Arts, Gameloft).

Digi and Fortumo launch direct carrier billing in Malaysia

The mobile operator Digi (part of Telenor Group) and the mobile payments company Fortumo are today launching direct carrier billing in Malaysia. Thanks to the partnership, 12 million subscribers of Digi will be able to make online payments by charging the purchases to their mobile phone bill.

Fortumo’s direct carrier billing platform is used by leading app stores (Google Play & Windows Phone Store), digital content providers (Sony, HOOQ, Gaana, Magzter), game developers (EA Mobile and Gameloft), smartphone manufacturers (Huawei, Xiaomi) and thousands of other merchants.

“Digi is one the most innovative operators in South-East Asia and we are proud to launch direct billing with them first in Malaysia. Carrier billing has evolved a lot during the last years and has now become the preferred emerging markets’ choice for many digital merchant categories including music and video streaming, digital media, gaming and social. Fortumo is happy to bring its portfolio of top merchants to Digi and expand our partnership with Telenor Group,” said Gerri Kodres, Chief Business Officer at Fortumo.

Carrier billing fills a significant gap in the online payments ecosystem in Malaysia due to an inadequate banking and credit card infrastructure. While 34% of people in the country already have a smartphone, only 20% have access to a credit card. This means a large part of the population has online access but is unable to pay for premium content.

Carrier billing resolves this issue by enabling any phone owner to make online payments. According to Fortumo’s internal data, the average revenue per paying user (ARPPU) in Malaysia is $5.4 and roughly half of all online purchases are done on mobile devices.

Fortumo and Telenor Group have been working together since 2013 and in addition to Malaysia, are offering direct carrier billing to Telenor networks in Pakistan and Thailand. In total, Fortumo covers 16 countries in the Asia Pacific region, reaching 1.4 billion mobile subscribers. In recent news, the company announced the launch of Fortumo Insight, a payments intelligence platform for mobile operators.

Fortumo rolls out Insight, the business intelligence platform for mobile operators

The mobile payments company Fortumo is today publicly launching Fortumo Insight, a payments intelligence platform for mobile operators. Fortumo Insight helps mobile operators understand their carrier billing performance and make informed decisions to increase revenue from app stores, digital content and games. Previously available to selected mobile operator groups, all carriers can now start using Fortumo Insight.

Fortumo Insight

Fortumo Insight enables different functions within mobile operator teams such as launch managers, fraud prevention specialists, business development managers and marketing specialists to access key metrics about their billing platform. Mobile operators can get access to the following KPIs on payments from app stores, digital content and games in a clear and compact manner:

  1. Payment volume information, such as gross transaction volumes, total number of payments made and user activations per merchant
  2. Spending behavior information, which allows to segment users, adjust spending limits for individual subscribers or segments and blacklist fraudulent activities
  3. Payment success rates and a breakdown of reasons for unsuccessful payments
  4. Overview of the top-performing merchants and items that generate the biggest revenue for merchants and app developers
  5. Information about refunds requested by users

Fortumo Insight aggregates information from Fortumo’s agnostic payments platform. The platform processes payments in 90+ countries for three main digital ecosystem categories: app stores, digital content (streaming music and video, social networks, productivity tools) and games.  Fortumo’s internal data shows that in order to maximize the revenue, carriers should launch all three categories and process payments across the board.

For mobile operators to take full advantage of Fortumo Insight, the company has also kicked off a new initiative called Uplift for its partners. “Uplift aims to provide carriers with information and education on how to improve billing performance, optimize the revenue and increase subscriber satisfaction,” said Gerri Kodres, Chief Business Officer of Fortumo.

The initiative includes publishing educational materials and information such as its recently released free white paper on how to increase the revenues from app stores. Uplift also includes custom advice on fine-tuning app store performance, managing spending limits, reducing fraud together with sharing the best practices from other carriers.

Fortumo’s direct carrier billing platform is used by leading app stores (Google Play, Windows Phone Store), digital media companies (Sony, Hooq, Ditto TV, Gaana) and game developers (EA Mobile, Gameloft, 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 Telefónica, Telenor, Singtel, Turkcell and Kyivstar, as well as leading mobile operators in India.