Rome-based mobile payments firm Neomobile SpA, has tied-up with Vodafone and Airtel to launch its Onebip m-commerce service in India, essentially providing telecom operator billing. Its Chief Executive Officer Gianluca D’Agostino, who was in India briefly, told MediaNama yesterday that the revenue split will be in the range of 55-70% from these operators depending on the volumes they can deliver. Internationally, Neomobile has direct billing integration with 40 carriers in 11 key markets and access 200 more in more than 60 markets for Mobile Direct Billing, PSMS Billing and IP Billing. It rolled out this one-click payment solution targeted at smartphone users in 2012.
D’Agostino didn’t elborate on exactly how much revenue share, instead compared Neomobile’s offerings with those of app stores run by Google and Apple. “We are trying to give the best potential revenue share split to our partners. It depends on also the kind of model our partners are engaged. If it’s a subscription model, if it’s a single download model. This is distinctive from what Apple and Google do. We are also doing advertising for our partners. Normally they prefer that we give them less as a payout, and we advertise for them, than if we give them more but we don’t promote their product. This is a differentiator. On the App Store and Google Play, you can only count on the virality, and natural ranking. In our case, there is a model based on CPA.” Neomobile spends around $50 million in advertising on mobile.
Other carriers in India need to take a similar approach with either in terms of open APIs and business (revenue sharing model), D’Agostino, in order to allow developers to monetize their products better – when developers make money, they can invest in creating better services and products. “It’s a very positive loop. If you are squeezed by a very small revenue share, you are condemned to bring to market very poor content, and delegate your advertising strategy to the carrier. The carriers are not the best advertisers in the world for this kind of thing (content).”
Following this deployment, Neomobile partners such as Gameforge, will be able to offer Indian telco billing for their (digital) products. It has a total of 400 merchants internationally and has been using this platform internationally for two years. Apart from this, Neomobile also has its own direct to consumer websites, and has been tying up with companies that can deliver content relevant for Indians, both for download and streaming. It tied-up with Kreative Access Media earlier this year, to provide Bollywood content in India market. Apart from Bollywood their focus areas are games and glamour.
Neomobile has been around in India for a few years now, entering through its acquisition of Spanish firm Arena Mobile (which had presence in India) in 2008. D’Agostino said that it took the company a couple of years to fine tune their operations in the Indian market, and the team now is more attuned to its goals. Their India business has grown 100% in the last year, but it’s still small in comparison to its other markets, in terms of size according to D’Agostino.
Estonia-based mobile payment provider Fortumo had inked a similar agreements with Vodafone, Airtel, Idea and Tata Docomo to extend its direct carrier billing solution to India earlier this year. As for transaction fees, telcos expectedly take a certain percentage from each transaction (around 40-60% depending on the end-user price) and Fortumo takes a small commission (around 2%-3% of net price) while the remaining goes to the developer.