The mobile payments company Fortumo and mobile operator Telenor Pakistan are launching direct carrier billing in Pakistan.
More than 35 million subscribers of Telenor Pakistan are now able to make easy online payments by charging purchases to their phone bill. Fortumo will also start powering in-app purchasing for Telenor App Store.
“Right now merchants are missing out on a great deal of revenue from emerging markets because very few users have credit cards which are needed to make payments in Google Play. Meanwhile, carrier billing can be used by anyone with a mobile phone. We are providing end-users with a means to pay for high-quality content while adding previously unavailable revenue to developers,” said Gerri Kodres, SVP of Business Development & Carrier Relations at Fortumo.
“An enormous part of Telenor Pakistan’s subscriber base comprises of a young population which represents a strong potential to reach apps, games and web services developers' user base. Developers can start accepting purchases from these users through direct carrier billing - the most widely available payment method in emerging markets”, said Muhammd Farooq Shaikh, Director Digital Services, Telenor Pakistan.
Less than 1.5 million people in Pakistan own credit cards while there over 130 million mobile phone users in the country. Therefore, mobile operator billing increases merchants’ payment coverage in the country almost 90 times. Smartphone ownership in Pakistan is estimated to grow by 50% this year and is currently around 15%. Smartphone adoption will further be accelerated with the launch of 3G services by Telenor Pakistan and other operators in the country.
Direct carrier billing lets users make payments over a data connection by confirming payments with one click on their phone. Since the mobile operator has all the information necessary to process the payment, this removes the need to send any text messages during the payment process.