Today, we are excited to launch a direct carrier billing partnership in Pakistan with the mobile operator Zong. Digital content merchants and app stores using our carrier billing platform can now collect payments from 26 million Zong customers in the country. Fortumo is the only global direct carrier billing provider in Pakistan where we have been working together with Telenor Pakistan already since July 2014.
Millions of people in emerging markets are accessing the internet only from their phones. This new digital audience is connected to the world but cannot access paid content as a majority of them do not own credit cards. We are looking forward to working together with Zong in Pakistan to enable our merchants access to this growing audience through carrier billing.
According to data from World Bank, Pakistan has a credit card penetration of less than 1% (less than 1 million credit cards across 182 million inhabitants). Meanwhile, an estimated 56 million Pakistanis now have a smartphone. The adoption of smartphones in the country is accelerated by the fact that both Zong and Telenor Pakistan launched 3G networks in Pakistan during 2014.
Our 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.
Fortumo’s direct carrier billing platform is now available to over 1.3 billion people in 16 Asian countries. Globally we cover 95 countries and reach more than 3 billion end-users with our carrier billing solution.