On 24th February 2014, One Platform foundation announced that Fortumo has joined its Open In-App Billing (OpenIAB) – to enable developers to use mobile operator billing in 80 countries for in app purchasing via any android device. In the same week, Ditto TV, India's first OTT (Over-The-Top) TV distribution platform from Zee New Media announced its partnership with Fortumo to introduce a new mobile payment option for its users.
This partnership will enable Ditto TV users to subscribe to their favourite content on Ditto TV and make payments directly via their mobile operator. All this is done without the need of a credit card, cash on delivery (COD), or net banking options. This payment model is available for both pre- paid as well as post- paid users.
"We at Ditto TV are committed to making the user experience as seamless, convenient and memorable as possible. With the association with Fortumo, we are now a few steps closer to ensuring that our users have the ease and simplicity they need to make payments using their mobile phones,” said Manoj Padmanabhan, Business Head, DittoTV.
“Fortumo, with its multiple telecom operator tie-ups, will help us reach out to complex markets, where credit cards or net banking options are limited, and build our presence across key markets beyond the metros," added Padmanabhan. Ditto TV offers a large collection of premium content through 70 Live TV channels spread across leading genres like GEC, sports, lifestyle, regional and news, along with on-demand video capabilities.
The market penetration of credit cards in India is weak (20 Mn) as compared to that of smartphones which stands at around 100 Mn. Also, the penetration of credit cards is rejected mostly to metros – barely 1.7% of the entire population of the country. In Decemnber last year, online Indian television and movie streaming service Spuul tied up with Boku, a mobile online payments company for carrier billing services.
"Compared to mobile phone users, there are very few credit card owners in emerging markets like India and South-East Asia. This creates a situation where a lot of people want access to mobile entertainment, but have no way to pay for it,” said Gerri Kodres, SVP of Business Development and Carrier Relations, Fortumo. “Operator billing solves this problem by allowing companies like Ditto TV to charge users on their phone bill. In addition to significantly expanding payment coverage for merchants, Fortumo also reduces the time to market as only one integration to enable payments in 80 countries globally.”
Fortumo was launched in 2007, aiming to be the most developer friendly mobile payments provider. Back in February, 2013 Fortumo raised $10 Mn from Intel Capital and Greycroft Partners to foray into emerging markets. Globally, Fortumo has presence in over 180 countries and has tie ups with over 300 carriers and 92,000 developers. Some of the popular app or game developers who use Fortumo’s direct carrier billing service include Pop Cap Games, Rovio (Angry Birds app maker), EA, Gameloft, Badoo, etc. On September 17, 2013 Fortumo officially announced its availability to do business in India. Fortumo has tie ups with all the major telecom providers and has access to over 530 Mn users in India.