webe and Fortumo launch carrier billing on Google Play

webe, Malaysia’s Digital Mobility Services Provider and a subsidiary of Telekom Malaysia Berhad (TM), and the mobile payments company Fortumo are today announcing the launch of direct carrier billing on the Google Play app store. Thanks to the partnership, webe’s subscribers – also called members - can now purchase paid apps, games and in-app content from Google Play and conveniently charge the payments to their mobile phone bill.

webe and Fortumo launch carrier billing on Google Play webe's CMO Nazeem Nasir, webe's CEO Moharmustaqeem Bin Mohammed and Fortumo's VP of BD & carrier relations Sid Sahi celebrating the launch of Google Play

“webe is pioneering a new way of looking at mobile phone and broadband plans in Malaysia. The ability to ensure that all our members are able to fully connect with online experience is important to us. Working with Fortumo, their experience will help us ensure that every member of our many communities – especially huge communities like online gaming – are able to seamlessly purchase and enjoy their games, in app upgrades and any other content they desire. Malaysian consumers in general can further extend their use of our never ending data and enhance their online experience through stores like Google Play to ensure that they have the very best content, apps, videos and books available – so now they don’t even need a credit card!” said Nazeem Nasir, Chief Marketing Officer, webe.

“webe is focused on delivering a digital lifestyle to its fast growing member base, including TM’s existing huge subscribers base. This means it was logical for webe to enable carrier billing for Google Play, the world’s leading app store with variety of apps, music and video offerings. Fortumo is the dominant carrier billing provider in Asia, and we are very proud to have been selected as partner by TM Group for the launch of Google Play payments,” said Gerri Kodres, Chief Business Officer at Fortumo.

In Malaysia, there are more than 15 million smartphone owners (50% of the population) while credit card ownership remains below 20%. This means most people cannot use credit card as method of payments with leading digital merchants such as Google. Carrier billing resolves this issue by allowing any phone owner to authorize payments using their phone and charge the transactions to their phone bill. Additional information on carrier billing in Malaysia can be found from Fortumo’s market report.

Google Play has been enabled by Fortumo’s carrier billing platform that supports both app stores and digital merchants in other segments like music and video streaming, social networking and gaming. Fortumo will also provide webe with access to Fortumo Insight, a smart data analytics platform that helps carriers track and analyze app store performance to make improvements for growing carrier billing revenue.

Fortumo has brought Google Play payments to three new countries this year: in addition to webe in Malaysia, the company has launched Google Play billing with LMT in Latvia and with Telekom Slovenije in Slovenia. Fortumo also recently expanded its Google Play coverage in Vietnam, launching payments for the mobile operators Vietnamobile and Mobifone along with its existing partnership with Viettel.

In addition to Google Play, Fortumo’s customers include Spotify, Sony, HOOQ, Gaana, Electronic Arts, Gameloft, Kinguin and Rovio. To enable payments for these merchants, Fortumo works together with mobile operators in more than 90 countries.

About webe

webe is the new digital mobility service provider that is part of the TM Group. webe’s brand philosophy is unique – ‘start here. go anywhere.’ This exemplifies the diversity of how communities can come together to make things happen, for a better Malaysia. The brand exists for our communities to co-create positive change with the power of data, technology and collaboration.

As a testament to the company’s commitment to develop deeper relationships with the communities, webe launched its unique crowd-backing online community platform called ‘webe community’ to connect, collaborate, co-create, and empower individuals, groups, and members of the local community to band together to make what Malaysians care about happen.

Under the TM’s aspiration of becoming the Malaysia’s Convergence Champion, webe will become the Centre of Excellence for Mobility in TM.

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The mobile payments company Fortumo is today announcing the launch of Hosted Direct Carrier Billing (HDCB). The new payment product allows any digital content merchant to use the most advanced features of direct carrier billing, including dynamic pricing, 2-step and token based charging as well as recurring payments capabilities.

Fortumo launches Hosted DCB: a self-service, bank-grade carrier billing product

HDCB is a payment product hosted by Fortumo which provides merchants with a turnkey solution to display and authorize transactions from their users. In the back-end, HDCB is directly connected with clean APIs provided by mobile operators. As a result, merchants can launch direct carrier billing for their customers without needing to negotiate a launch with every carrier separately, develop and maintain checkout flows or manage end-user support. Fortumo also protects merchants from payments fraud through a built-in set of security features and monitoring by a dedicated risk management team.

“Direct carrier billing today competes with card-based payments in segments like gaming, streaming and mobile commerce. This means the commercial and technical level of mobile payments needs to be bank-grade in order for merchants to adopt it. Companies like Google and Spotify have pushed carriers to innovate, but so far the advanced features have been available only to a small segment of digital businesses. As Fortumo is the only provider on the market that can service merchants on scale, we are happy to say that direct carrier billing in its purest form is now available to any digital content provider regardless of their size,” said Martin Koppel, co-founder and CEO of Fortumo.

The main features of Fortumo’s Hosted Direct Carrier Billing product include:

  • One integration enables launch across the entire Fortumo direct carrier billing network
  • Dynamic pricing, supporting charging users at any price specified by the merchant
  • Secure, 2-step and token based charging
  • Support for both header enrichment and PIN (OTP) based checkout flows
  • Advanced, Fortumo-managed recurring billing capabilities
  • White-labeling to match the checkout flow with the merchant’s brand identity

According to the research company Ovum, carrier billing has the potential to generate $142 billion in revenue to mobile operators by 2020. Fortumo believes that an agnostic approach to merchants who can use direct carrier billing will accelerate the growth of the sector seen today. “We see carriers wanting to launch leading digital merchants on their network, but at the same time there are many regional and local companies who wish to do the same. Enabling the long tail revenue for carriers through our payment products ensures a growth in revenue from payment processing,” added Martin Koppel.

Fortumo’s direct carrier billing platform is used by Google Play, Spotify, Sony, HOOQ, Gaana, EA Mobile, Gameloft, Kinguin and thousands of other digital content providers. Fortumo’s platform can be used to collect payments from subscribers of more than 350 mobile operators through one integration.

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