Estonian mobile payments company Fortumo and mobile operator Telenor Pakistan launched direct carrier billing in Pakistan this week, which gives more than 35 million Telenor Pakistan subscribers the ability to make easy online payments by charging purchases to their phone bill.
“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,” Gerri Kodres, SVP of Business Development & Carrier Relations at Fortumo, said.
“An enormous part of Telenor Pakistan’s subscriber base comprises of young population which represents a strong potential to reach apps, games and web services developers’ user base. Through the partnership with Fortumo, developers can start accepting purchases from these users through direct carrier billing – the most widely available payment method in emerging markets,“ Muhammd Farooq Shaikh, Director Digital Services at Telenor Pakistan, added.
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%.
As announced in May 2013, Fortumo has signed global framework agreement with Telenor Group, covering 12 countries in Europe and Asia.
Cover photo: Fortumo co-founders Martin Koppel and Rain Rannu, Management Board Member Gerri Kodres.