Fortumo launches the Emerging Markets Payments Index

The mobile payments company Fortumo is today revealing its Emerging Markets Payment Index. Fortumo’s Index is intended to be used by web, game and app developers for benchmarking their revenue in markets with high smartphone growth and low credit card penetration.

The Emerging Markets Payment Index focuses on markets highlighted by GfK in its global forecast of top smartphone markets for growth by value in 2015: India, Indonesia, South Africa, Brazil, Pakistan, Nigeria, Egypt and Vietnam*. These markets have a significantly lower level of access to traditional online payments than mature economies. India and  Vietnam for example have a credit card penetration below 2% and in Nigeria 99.3% of all card transactions are conducted on ATMs.

“For most developers, emerging markets are considered to have low revenue potential. This is the result of trying to apply the Western revenue model of card-based payments and large transaction sizes to low-income underbanked markets. Our goal with the index is to show developers that emerging markets can provide significant income when the business and pricing strategy is localized,” said Martin Koppel, CEO of Fortumo.

Fortumo’s analysis indicates that the biggest growth in transaction volume from carrier billing in emerging markets is coming from India, Nigeria and Vietnam. Meanwhile, Brazil, South Africa and Indonesia have the highest spending on digital content per user. It’s also interesting to note that the average transaction size is below $1 in most markets which makes credit card based billing unfeasible for virtual & digital goods as fixed transaction fees eat up a majority of the revenue. Most of the markets analyzed have a double-digit quarterly growth rate in transaction volumes which shows the rapid growth of alternative payment methods among unbanked users.

The payment index aggregates data from various platforms (web, mobile web, feature phones, smartphones) and app stores. Going forward, Fortumo will start providing quarterly updates to its payment index. For 2014, the index contains data on more than 300 million transactions processed by 122,000 developers using Fortumo to collect payments in 88 countries.

Emerging Markets Payment Index: Country-Level Breakdown of Payment Behavior

Fortumo Mobile Payments Emerging Markets Payment Index 2014

**Emerging Markets Payment Index: Country-Level Breakdown of Transaction Volume Growth, Quarter-on-Quarter (%)**

Fortumo Mobile Payments Emerging Markets Payment Index 2014 2

 * - China and Bangladesh have been omitted from the index as Fortumo provides carrier billing only for Android developers in China and does not operate in Bangladesh. ** - Fortumo launched payments in Pakistan during June 2014; data for previous periods is therefore not available.