Ufone launches Google Play carrier billing with Fortumo

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The Pakistani mobile operator Ufone and the mobile technology company Fortumo are launching direct carrier billing for Google Play. Millions of Ufone subscribers can now pay for apps and in-app content from Google Play by charging purchases to their monthly Ufone bill or prepaid SIM card.

“Ufone’s brand philosophy revolves around customer centricity and convenience. We are happy that through this partnership with Fortumo our customers can now pay for Google Play services through their Ufone balance,” said Ufone spokesperson.

“Smartphones are today one of the biggest sources of entertainment for people across the world. Fortumo’s goal is to help telcos in launching these entertainment services to their subscribers in a scalable way and as quickly as possible. We look forward to working together with Ufone and growing their revenue through Google Play and the rest of our digital content portfolio,” added Taavi Krusell, VP of Carrier Sales at Fortumo.

Fortumo managed the integration project from end to end, using its previous expertise from connecting dozens of other telcos to Google Play. In addition to the technical setup and project management, Fortumo supports its telco partners with marketing advice on how to maximize revenue from Google Play. Ufone also receives access to real-time analytics on carrier billing performance from the Fortumo Insight platform.

In Pakistan, only 1% of people own a credit card while 43% of people have a smartphone. This creates a challenge for app stores and digital content merchants, as the majority of mobile users are able to access content but cannot pay for premium services.

Carrier billing resolves this issue by making online payments available to anyone with a mobile device: any mobile device owner can securely add the transaction to their monthly phone bill or deduct the charge from their prepaid SIM card. Additional data on the digital ecosystem of Pakistan and other countries of the region is available in Fortumo’s recent Asia market report.