Thai mobile operator Dtac has launched direct carrier billing for digital content for its subscribers, in collaboration with mobile payments company Fortumo.
Digital content merchants using the Fortumo platform will now be able to collect payments from Dtac's 27 million mobile subscribers by adding charges to their phone bills.
Announcing the launch, the companies said they believe Thailand to be an ideal market for carrier billing, as nearly half of the country's 67 million population owns a smartphone but only around 4 million having a credit card.
In addition, the market has a high 3G penetration rate (72% for Dtac subscribers) and significant data consumption per user (1.2GB). Fortumo data also suggests that 64.8% of paying users in Thailand access content from their mobile devices
Fortumo already works with Dtac parent company Telenor to provide carrier billing in Pakistan, Fortumo also has carrier billing relationships in Asia with SingTel as well as mobile operators in India and China.
"Only a quarter of the global population has access to credit cards. A majority of the unbanked people are located in emerging markets. This means mobile payments provide a strong alternative to bank-based payments in the fastest growing smartphone markets of the world,” Fortumo chief business officer Gerri Kodres commented.
“We are excited to seize this opportunity together with Dtac in the Thai market and build direct carrier billing into the default payment method for online payments in the country,"