Mobile payments company Fortumo has launched direct carrier billing in Cote d’Ivoire, Ethiopia and Senegal to both prepaid or postpaid mobile account owners in a move that will see over 52 million people make seamless digital payments and get the purchases charged to their mobile phone bill.
The move also means app stores, digital merchants and game developers can increase their online payments reach in some of the most underbanked countries of the world where the percentage of bank card owners is only 2% in the three markets.
“Quick economic growth coupled with access to low-cost smartphones has positioned Africa as an exciting region for digital content merchants. At the same time, it has been difficult to accept payments from users as the continent is very diverse and fragmented. Carrier billing solves this challenge by allowing merchants to integrate one pervasive payment method which is accessible to any mobile phone owner regardless of their location,” said Gerri Kodres, Chief Business Officer at Fortumo.
Fortumo is also looking at collaborating with virtual credit card providers and digital wallet merchants to enable them expansion into African markets through topping up these accounts via carrier billing.
Now available in 21 countries in the MENA, 7 countries in Sub-Saharan Africa with nearly 600 million mobile users having access to carrier billing, Fortumo aim to allow merchants to quickly scale up their carrier billing offering by integrating payments once and launching them in all countries covered by Fortumo simultaneously.