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.