Estonian mobile payments company Fortumo has found inspiration for monetization among in-app payment methods. Last week they announced the opening of a €1 million support fund to cover costs up to €25,000 for developers to integrate Fortumo's payment solution through mobile operators into their Windows phone or Windows 8 apps.
Why exactly Windows platforms? The answer lies within a deeper insight into credit card ownership statistics.
Unlike the US and say, China, where credit cards & online payment services such as PayPal and Alipay hold the top position when it comes to mobile application purchases, emerging markets have an unchallenged dominance of mobile operator billing, phones outnumbering credit cards 10 to 1 according to Fortumo’s press stats.
As an example Fortumo elaborates there are four times more mobile phones in the world than credit cards and in countries like Brazil, Russia, India and China, credit card ownership is as low as 15%.
Microsoft has realized this and the conclusive initiative has been giving customers the freedom of choice over payment solutions on their platforms.
Fortumo launched their payment on Microsoft platforms one and a half year ago, and currently Fortumo’s mobile operator billing results are a clear Microsoft victory; Windows phone app are making 1,5x more revenue/download than iOS apps while the difference with Android apps is even higher - 8x more revenue in comparison.
The fund itself promises developers advanced payments in a risk-free environment (no monthly fees or minimum volume commitments). How much developer can expect to get depends on the number of downloads their exiting app has in either of the three major app platform stores, in accordance to the grid below.
Mobile operator billing with Fortumo is designed to complement Microsoft Corp.’s own payment solution. For Windows Store, Fortumo provides mobile payments in 81 countries and over 300 mobile networks while it also extends Microsoft’s existing mobile operator billing reach by adding a number of emerging markets with low credit card penetration in Latin America, Eastern Europe, Asia, Middle-East and Africa.
Hundreds of top developers like Rovio, Zeptolab, EA Mobile and Gameloft are using Fortumo for in-app purchasing on Windows, Android, HTML5 and other platforms. By covering integration costs, Fortumo wants to highlight the significant revenue opportunities of adding mobile operator billing also on Windows Phone and Windows 8.