Boku, Inc., the global leader in mobile payments, has developed technology and mobile network operator (MNO) relationships that make advanced mobile payments technology available in India, one of the largest of the "BRIC" nations.
By opening India to direct carrier billing based mobile payments, merchants all over the world now have access to a huge market with 1.2 billion people. Boku now provides the widest coverage and most direct carrier connections in India, covering 75% of all mobile subscribers. In addition, merchants based in India can now leverage Boku's connections with more than 250 MNOs around the world to sell their own goods and services online outside of India using Boku technology.
India is the fastest growing smartphone market in world and the world's third largest smartphone subscriber market, with more than 117MM smartphone users. As of May 2014, India also showed the world's highest Internet usage growth rate. As a result of these trends, India has emerged as one of the most fertile markets for carrier billing growth as mobile penetration increases alongside growing numbers of potential online consumers.
Boku specializes in direct carrier billing-based mobile payments, a form of mobile payment where charges placed online are billed to the users' wireless phone bill. The technology works for both for pre and post-paid billing plans. The new developments in India come on the heels of Boku's acquisition of Qubecell in November of 2013, previously the leading direct carrier billing company in India. The integration of the companies and their respective services and relationships is now complete and global merchants are taking advantage of the new payments technology now available in the Indian market.
"We knew early on that Qubecell had the right approach, the right people, and the right technical capacity to be a great fit with Boku," said Jon Prideaux, CEO of Boku. "Now that our integration is complete we are providing existing Boku merchants - including top social media networks and global games companies -- with the very best access to the Indian market. Indian companies also now have access to Boku's global network. Our operations in Indiadia are serving as the regional hub for Boku's operations across India and the Middle East, supporting our merchant and carrier customers as we expand in more emerging markets."
In India, Boku's platform supports carrier billing via mobile Web as well as via in-app purchases. In practical terms, this opens up India as a marketplace where global merchants around the world who sell virtual and digital goods can now sell to Indian customers, many of whom have previously been unable to make purchases on mobile.
"Boku has been extremely supportive and enthusiastic about this market, and we've felt like part of the team since day one," Said Ranjan R. Reddy, former CEO of Qubecell, now VP for Boku India. "BRIC is the holy grail of marketplaces for many industries, and we're at the epicenter of unlocking one of those nations."
This integration also advances Boku's expanding footprint as the leading mobile payments technology provider across key Asian markets, now with offices in Japan and Singapore.