Global payments operator Fortumo and Reliance Communications (RCOM) have launched direct carrier billing where RCOM’s customers can purchase digital content and games by charging the payments to their mobile bill or mobile prepaid account.
With this, Fortuo says it covers 813 million users with 79% coverage along with other operators in India that include Airtel, Vodafone, Idea Cellular and Aircel.
Fortumo’s deal comes a day after Idea Cellular and Google announced that it would provide carrier billing services for its customers so that they can pay for apps and content on the Google Play Store. A report by Fortumo points that over 80% of payments for digital content in India are from mobile devices. The report added that a majority of content consumption in India still happens over feature phones, even though smartphone penetration in the country is rapidly growing.
Tie ups with streaming services: In March, online video streaming application HOOQ partnered with Fortumo for direct carrier billing in India, which would let HOOQ users charge payments to their mobile phone bills. Fortumo had also signed a similar deal with Sony LIV earlier in December 2015.
Other developments in carrier billing:
– In November 2015, Rovio, the maker of the Angry Birds game, entered into a carrier billing deal with Idea Cellular.
– In December 2014, Microsoft enabled carrier billing on Windows Store in India with Idea Cellular, allowing Idea subscribers buy Windows phone apps through this payment option.
– In February 2014, Saavn added operator billing support for its premium service. It charged users Rs 5 for a day, Rs 30 for a week and Rs 110 for a month of Pro Lite subscription that can be used to cache up to 3GB of songs for offline listening. The carrier billing option was available available for Vodafone and Airtel connections.