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
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.