Mobile, News

Fortumo brings its direct carrier billing service for app developers in India

fortumo-mobile-paymentsFortumo, a global mobile payment company has announced on Tuesday – its foray into Indian market. The company will help mobile app developers to monetize from its direct carrier billing service. Though the company for now has tied up with only four mobile operators – Vodafone, Airtel, Idea and Tata Docomo, but given that these operators have a combined market share of 61% in India – the service allows developers to tap a significant Indian population.

The company claims that its direct carrier billing with “four of the largest mobile operators” would enable developers to receive payments from a whooping 530 million mobile phone users, making it “the largest coverage of any mobile payment provider in the country”.

The service now works on Android and Windows Phones. It also supports the new Windows 8 apps and games.

“India has historically been a tough market to crack for mobile payment providers due to outdated premium SMS technologies being widely used, making payment integration for mobile game and app developers complicated. Rather than relying on old technologies which were meant for selling ringtones and wallpapers, Fortumo connects to operators directly through direct carrier billing. In this scenario, users do not need to send any messages. This makes payments faster, in turn increasing conversion and revenue for developers,“ said Gerri Kodres, SVP Business Development and Carrier Relations at Fortumo.

Founded in 2007, Fortumo is a global mobile payments service provider which allows users to pay for apps and other phone services without coughing up credit card details, and offers app developers, social networks and digital goods vendors an alternate mode to receive payments. The service, till date has assisted payment from some 4 billion users in 74 countries, through its tie up with around 300 mobile operators.

However, one thing that might put off a developer’s interest in the service is the fact that Fortumo leaves developers getting 49 to 53 percent of the revenue share, depending on the terms and conditions posed by a phone network. Whereas, on app stores like Google Play and iTunes, they get 70 percent of the cost paid by a consumer.

The smartphone market in India is continuously booming. According to a report, in 2013, there are 67 million smartphone subscribers, which is 6% of the total subscribers in India, growing at the rate of 52% YoY – making the industry more and more promising for the app developers. But the fact that, a significant population in India does not own a bank account, services like Fortumo brings a huge opportunity for app developers to make business.

Given its global reach and popularity, the platform has also raised $10 million funding earlier this year. The investment round was led by Intel Capital and Greycroft Partners.

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