The mobile payments company Fortumo and the mobile tutoring platform HashLearn are today announcing the launch of a carrier billing partnership. HashLearn users in India can now purchase access to instant tutoring sessions for both school and entrance exams like the JEE/NEET by charging payments to their prepaid/postpaid mobile phone bills. Carrier billing through Fortumo is available to all 870 million subscribers of Airtel, Vodafone, Idea, Reliance, Aircel and Tata.
"HashLearn’s vision is to make tutoring affordable and accessible by leveraging the mobile phone. Allowing our users to purchase HashLearn tutoring packs through their mobile operator makes the experience seamless and hassle-free. Partnering with Fortumo was an obvious choice considering they are a global leader in the space," said Jayadev Gopalakrishnan, CEO & co-founder of HashLearn.
“India is one of the few countries in the world where the smartphone ownership growth rate is increasing. The growing mobile audience is a huge opportunity for digital merchants, but lagging banking infrastructure means traditional online payments methods are available to very few people. We are very happy to partner with HashLearn and enable their customers to make payments using carrier billing, the most widely available payment method in India,” said Sanjay Sinha, Country Manager of Fortumo India.
While there are already 220 million smartphone users in India, less than 4% of the country’s population has a credit card. In the young adults age group (15-24 years) the number is even lower, with just 3% having a credit card according to the World Bank. This means most smartphone owners cannot access online services as they are unable to pay for it. Carrier billing resolves this problem by enabling payments to any prepaid or postpaid mobile account owner.
The popularity of carrier billing among younger audiences is also visible from Fortumo’s internal payments data. In 2016, an estimated 41% of users who paid using carrier billing belonged to the 18-24 years age group and a further 30% to the 25-34 years age group. Additional data on India’s mobile ecosystem and carrier billing can be found from Fortumo’s India market report.
Besides HashLearn, Fortumo’s direct carrier billing platform is used by leading app stores (Google Play, Windows Phone Store), digital media companies (Sony, HOOQ, Gaana) and gaming companies (EA Mobile, Gameloft, Kinguin, Rovio). To enable global carrier billing for these merchants, Fortumo has partnered with more than 350 mobile operators across the world. In recent news from India, Fortumo announced a direct carrier billing partnership with the mobile operator Reliance.
About HashLearn Founded by serial entrepreneur Jayadev Gopalakrishnan and technologist Gokul Janga, HashLearn is an on-demand tutoring app that connects students to tutors from IITs/BITS/AIIMS & leading institutions, instantly, 24/7. HashLearn is backed by leading angels including the founders of Flipkart, Ola, People Group and the MD of Google India/SE Asia.