Language learning platform busuu launches carrier billing with Fortumo

The language learning platform busuu and the mobile payments company Fortumo are today announcing the launch of a direct carrier billing partnership. Users of busuu can now pay for busuu Premium by charging purchases to their mobile phone bill, without the need for a credit card.

busuu Premium gives users a more comprehensive learning experience, including interactive grammar units, offline access, certificates and an interactive vocabulary trainer. Carrier billing allows people to subscribe to the service quickly and conveniently, by deducting the payment from their prepaid phone balance or charging it to their monthly phone bill.

In countries like Russia and Indonesia where a large part of busuu’s target audience is located, less than 30% of people have access to a credit card. This means traditional online payments are unavailable to a large part of the population. Carrier billing resolves this problem as it does not require the user to own a credit card or share their personal details online, making it safe and accessible for any mobile phone owner.

"busuu is very popular in emerging markets as an affordable way to learn a language. As a global company, we are striving to tailor our product to the local needs. Where credit card penetration is low, we are striving to offer alternative ways to pay. Fortumo offers payments via a mobile phone and is helping to open busuu to a wider group of customers." Bernhard Niesner, CEO & co-founder of busuu.

“Digital content consumption, including online learning, is shifting to emerging markets. While smartphone ownership is rapidly growing, most people are unable to access content because they do not own a bank card. We are very happy to work with busuu and solve this issue for them, making access to language learning available to people without credit cards,” said Andrea Boetti, VP of Business Development at Fortumo.

The e-learning industry revenue is expected to reach $52 billion in 2016. The industry’s growth is primarily driven from emerging markets where users do not have access to traditional learning environments due to cost or physical distance, but can access educational content online thanks to the widespread ownership of smartphones. In addition to busuu, Fortumo works with India’s leading mobile tutoring platform Hashlearn in the e-learning segment.

Fortumo’s direct carrier billing platform is also used by app stores (Google Play), digital media providers (Spotify, Sony, HOOQ, Gaana) and gaming companies (EA Mobile, Gameloft, Kinguin, Rovio). To enable carrier billing for these merchants, Fortumo has partnered with more than 350 mobile operators across the world.

About busuu

busuu was founded in 2008 with the goal to empower everyone in the world to learn a new language. The company is committed to revolutionize the language learning process with the use of technology. With over 60 million users and 12 languages to study, busuu’s digital learning apps are globally leading. The company offers free and paid audio-visual language courses and includes direct interaction with native speakers around the world. busuu has received several awards such as “Best Education Start-up in Europe” and was named as “Best Google Play App 2015.” The company is named after the language of Busuu in Cameroon, spoken by only eight people. For more information, please visit https://www.busuu.com.