Malaysia’s webe, Fortumo launch carrier billing on Google Play


webe, Malaysia’s Digital Mobility Services Provider and a subsidiary of Telekom Malaysia Berhad (TM), and the mobile payments company Fortumo have launched direct carrier billing on the Google Play app store.

Thanks to the partnership, webe’s subscribers – also called members – can now purchase paid apps, games and in-app content from Google Play and conveniently charge the payments to their mobile phone bill.

“webe is pioneering a new way of looking at mobile phone and broadband plans in Malaysia. The ability to ensure that all our members are able to fully connect with online experience is important to us. Working with Fortumo, their experience will help us ensure that every member of our many communities – especially huge communities like online gaming – are able to seamlessly purchase and enjoy their games, in app upgrades and any other content they desire. Malaysian consumers in general can further extend their use of our never ending data and enhance their online experience through stores like Google Play to ensure that they have the very best content, apps, videos and books available – so now they don’t even need a credit card!” said Nazeem Nasir, Chief Marketing Officer, webe.

“webe is focused on delivering a digital lifestyle to its fast growing member base, including TM’s existing huge subscribers base. This means it was logical for webe to enable carrier billing for Google Play, the world’s leading app store with variety of apps, music and video offerings. Fortumo is the dominant carrier billing provider in Asia, and we are very proud to have been selected as partner by TM Group for the launch of Google Play payments,” said Gerri Kodres, Chief Business Officer at Fortumo.

In Malaysia, there are more than 15 million smartphone owners (50% of the population) while credit card ownership remains below 20%. This means most people cannot use credit card as method of payments with leading digital merchants such as Google.

Carrier billing resolves this issue by allowing any phone owner to authorize payments using their phone and charge the transactions to their phone bill. Additional information on carrier billing in Malaysia can be found from Fortumo’s market report.

Google Play has been enabled by Fortumo’s carrier billing platform that supports both app stores and digital merchants in other segments like music and video streaming, social networking and gaming. Fortumo will also provide webe with access to Fortumo Insight, a smart data analytics platform that helps carriers track and analyze app store performance to make improvements for growing carrier billing revenue.

Fortumo has brought Google Play payments to three new countries this year: in addition to webe in Malaysia, the company has launched Google Play billing with LMT in Latvia and with Telekom Slovenije in Slovenia. Fortumo also recently expanded its Google Play coverage in Vietnam, launching payments for the mobile operators Vietnamobile and Mobifone along with its existing partnership with Viettel.

In addition to Google Play, Fortumo’s customers include Spotify, Sony, HOOQ, Gaana, Electronic Arts, Gameloft, Kinguin and Rovio. To enable payments for these merchants, Fortumo works together with mobile operators in more than 90 countries.