The mobile payments companyFortumois today announcing that it signed up 20 new mobile operators and mobile operator groups to use its direct carrier billing platform in 2015. 12 of these partnerships are with carriers from Asia, a region where Fortumo has recently been heavily focusing on.
“2015 has been a great year for carrier billing. In addition to leading app stores and game developers, we have onboarded number of top merchants in new industries like streaming, financial services, productivity tools and messaging. Through this traction, we are helping mobile operators earn more revenue in a situation where their traditional growth areas have slowed down,” said Gerri Kodres, Chief Business Officer at Fortumo.
Part of its focus to emerging markets and Asia, Fortumo has announced partnerships with leading Asian carriers such asViettel in Vietnam,Dtac in Thailand and Telenor Pakistan. The company has also expanded its footprint in the app store ecosystem, launching carriers like DNA forGoogle Playand Smart forWindows Phone Store. Beside app stores, Fortumo has brought to carriers streaming content providers (such asSonyand Gaana), top game developers (such as EA Mobile and Gameloft), smartphone manufacturers (Huawei, Xiaomi) and many others.
Fortumo suggests mobile operators also look beyond app stores for growing their carrier billing revenue. “There is potential to double or triple carrier billing revenue in the digital content space beside app stores. This is especially relevant now when carrier billing is opening up to new segments such as music and video, wallets or virtual credit card top-ups, gift cards and mobile commerce,” explained Gerri Kodres. In 2014, the global digital market* was estimated to stand at $43.85 billion out of which app stores generated $24 billion.
Fortumo has recently been focusing on partnerships with mobile operators in the Asia Pacific region. This has been driven by demand from merchants seeking to sustain growth as Western digital markets are slowing down. For example, while smartphone ownership increased only by 11% in the US in 2015, it jumped to 33% in India. Digital content spend is also rising at a faster pace in emerging markets. In the US, digital gaming revenue increased by 13.5% while in India it grew by 99.5%. This makes emerging markets an important focus for merchants and provides mobile operators in these regions the opportunity to generate more revenue from carrier billing.
- Digital content market size: