The mobile payments company Fortumo is today announcing the opening of an office in New Delhi, India and the appointment of Sanjay Sinha as General Manager for Fortumo India.
Establishing local presence in India will help Fortumo take a local approach to one of the biggest emerging markets for online payments.
India has less than 20 million credit card owners, meaning 99% of the population cannot pay for content using services such as Google Play or PayPal. Meanwhile, direct carrier billing with Fortumo is available to 600 million phone owners in the country. Fortumo is already working with some of the biggest digital goods merchants in India, including the leading streaming service provider BoxTV.
Fortumo has been operating in India since September when the company announced direct carrier billing supporting the users of Vodafone, Airtel, Idea and Tata Docomo. Fortumo is the only Western payment provider offering a direct carrier billing solution and covering 70% of mobile subscribers in India.
With direct carrier billing, users do not need to send any messages to complete the purchases - this makes payments faster and in turn increases conversion and revenue for developers.
Sanjay Sinha, General Manager for Fortumo India believes direct carrier billing is the key for developers who want to be successful in India: "Monetization is the biggest challenge for mobile developers and Fortumo is ideally positioned to solve this problem. The mobile ecosystem in India is exploding with established companies setting up their mobile identity and hordes of new start-ups launching. My goal as the general manager for Fortumo India will be to secure a central role for Fortumo in this growing market."
"India is such an important growth market for mobile payments, so we just needed to go local there. We're excited to have Sanjay on board at Fortumo to help both Western developers earn revenue from India and Indian developers to make money from abroad", said Rain Rannu, founder of Fortumo.
Sanjay Sinha has worked in the mobile payments industry for more than a decade. His prior experience includes work at Yahoo India, ACL Wireless and CellNext.
India plays a central role in Fortumo's emerging market strategy as smartphone users in India are expected to grow to 67 million in 2013 and to 382 million by 2016. India is expected to overtake the United States and place second after China in the number of mobile subscribers in coming years. Revenue from mobile games and applications in India is expected to grow to 427 million USD by 2016.
As feature phones currently hold a dominant position in India, Fortumo has created a customized payment flow for use on feature phones. The solution automatically recognizes when a feature phone environment is being used and morphs itself to enable payments on phones without in-app payment capabilities.