The mobile operator dtac (part of Telenor Group) and the mobile payments company Fortumo are today announcing the launch of direct carrier billing in Thailand. Thanks to the partnership, more than 27 million dtac subscribers will now be able to pay for top digital content and gaming by charging purchases to their phone bill.
Mr. Tim Verouden, Senior Vice President, Head of Digital Services, Total Access Communication PLC (dtac), said: “Our partnership with Fortumo is providing convenience to dtac customers with Direct Operator Billing. Customers will be able to pay for top digital content and gaming by charging their purchases to their phone bill. It is our strategy to collaborate with world class partners to attract customers of those partners and leverage their products and services to develop an innovative campaign to maximize the benefits to our customers, as part of our Best in Digital Services strategy aiming to develop innovative digital services to meet customers’ data and internet demands“.
"Only a quarter of the global population has access to credit cards. A majority of the unbanked people are located in emerging markets. This means mobile payments provide a strong alternative to bank-based payments in the fastest growing smartphone markets of the world. We are excited to seize this opportunity together with dtac in the Thai market and build direct carrier billing into the default payment method for online payments in the country," said Gerri Kodres, Chief Business Officer at Fortumo.
While Thailand has a population of 67 million, only 4 million people have access to credit cards, according to the World Bank. Meanwhile, more than 33 million people already own a smartphone in the country. This means that without carrier billing, gaming and digital merchants miss out on more than 85% of paying users in the country.
Thailand is a mobile-first country: 90% of 18-24 year olds access the internet daily using their mobile phone, according to data from Yozzo . This is also enabled by high 3G penetration rates: 72% of dtac customers have access to a 3G connection. The average amount of data consumption per user in the market is 1.2GB per month.
Fortumo’s internal data shows that 64.8% of paying users in Thailand accessed content from their mobile devices. With the launch of direct carrier billing using header enrichment, these mobile users will be able to make future payments through a 1-click solution. In markets where Fortumo provides direct carrier billing to its merchants, payment conversion for first-time payments is close to 40% and higher for repeat purchases.
Thailand is the second market where Fortumo and Telenor Group have launched direct carrier billing: the two companies have been working together in Pakistan for over a year with a group partnership agreement already in place since 2013. In addition to Telenor, Fortumo also has direct carrier billing partnerships established with Telefónica, Singtel, Turkcell, Kyivstar and leading mobile operators in India and China.
In recent news from Asia, Fortumo has announced a direct carrier billing partnership with Huawei, a leading global information and communications technology (ICT) solutions provider.
Beside carriers and device manufacturers, Fortumo works with most of the leading app stores, gaming and digital content providers in Asia including Box TV, Ditto TV, Gaana, UCWeb, Mobogenie, Boyaa, Octro and Games2Win.