While the deal period or the terms of the agreement were not disclosed, Opera informed that Nazara will be deploying Opera’s payment exchange (OPX) to simplify mobile payments options like operator billing for Opera Mini users in India, Africa, the Middle East and Europe to purchase mobile games.
Note that Nazara will be still managing the billing of these games and Opera’s role in this partnership will be limited to help Nazara offer an improved payment mechanism to its users on Opera Mini and help increase conversions for Nazara by routing failed transactions through OPX.
Speaking to Medianama, Sunil Kamath, Vice President For South Asia, Opera told this partnership will allow Nazara to simplify the process of requesting user information like the user’s MSISDN number for verifying purchases from Opera Mini users and also monetize their Opera Mini traffic, thereby creating an additional revenue channel for the company. However, he noted that operators play only a passive role in OPX and content partners (in this case Nazara) should have a prior partnership with operators before seeking user information through OPX. Also, this process happens entirely behind the scenes, invisible to the end user. Kamath also hinted that Nazara partnership is the first among many such partnerships in the future but didn’t disclose any specific details on this.
Launched in February 2012, Opera Payment Exchange aims to be a platform between content providers, digital payment gateways, operators and end users. Content providers can use this platform to promote their content and provide an improved payment experience to Opera Mini users, while for payment providers it removes the possibilities of false clicking and billing from users (which has declined over time but is still quite rampant in the current VAS system).
In return, Opera will get advertising revenues from content providers who intend to promote content to Opera Mini users through ads on the browser. Remember, Opera Mini still leads the mobile browser market in India, although UCWeb’s UCBrowser is apparently catching up with Opera Mini. Last month, a TOI report had suggested that Opera Mini has 30% market share of mobile browsers in India, while UC Browser has 27% market share in the country.
Opera had stopped divulging India specific user base numbers a while back, but it claims to have 225 million users (pdf) as of April 2013 and last June, Opera had mentioned that India was the largest market for Opera Mini.
We are not sure if there has been any changes at the top or India continues to be the largest market for Opera Mini right now. Update: Opera has informed that India is still the largest market for Opera Mini, although it didn’t disclose any specific number on this.