Mobile technology company Fortumo and Indonesia’s biggest streaming platform Vidio have launched a direct carrier billing partnership. More than 140 million subscribers of Indosat Ooredoo, 3, XL Axiata and Smartfren can subscribe to “Vidio Premier” and charge payments for the service to their mobile operator invoice either as multi-month subscriptions, or as daily and weekly sachets.
In Indonesia, less than 3% of people have a credit card and less than 50% have an account with a financial institution. At the same time, smartphone ownership in the country is already at 60% (153 million users). This means a large number of consumers are able to access online services but are unable to pay for premium content.
Direct carrier billing resolves this challenge with payments by allowing anyone with a mobile phone to make online payments. Every mobile device owner has access to the payment method: charges are either deducted from the user’s prepaid SIM card balance or added to their monthly postpaid invoice.
Unlike bank cards and digital wallets, carrier billing does not require the user create or log in to any accounts or share their personal information. Instead, the user initiates the payment from their phone and confirms it with an SMS-based one-time password. This makes the payment process easier and safer for consumers, while increasing conversion for digital merchants.
Vidio’s fast growth reinforces Fortumo’s position as a leading direct carrier billing provider in the region. Recently, the company also opened an office in Jakarta to better service its digital merchant and telco partners in South-East Asia.
Creating a successful digital business requires four elements: knowing the local consumer base, providing them with varied good quality content, driving visibility of the service, and providing widely available, consumer-friendly payment methods. Vidio has nailed the impressive growth in their direct carrier billing business by orchestrating the visibility with their local telco providers. This is an essential element which many other OTT players are overlooking.
Andrea Boetti, VP of Global Business Development at Fortumo