Digital newsstand Magzter is launching carrier billing as a new payment method for selling magazines on its platform in India.
The carrier billing platform is provided to Magzter by the mobile payments company Fortumo. Thanks to the partnership, Magzter users can now purchase access to digital content by charging payments directly to their mobile phone bill.
“Magzter’s global reach requires us to offer the most convenient payment options to our international customers, and adding carrier billing could help users without credit cards to transact easily,” said John Paris, Vice President of Product for Magzter.
“One of the biggest challenges for digital content merchants in India is monetisation. On one hand, smartphone ownership is growing very quickly. But at the same time, most new users do not have access to card-based payments to purchase online content,” said Sanjay Sinha, head of Fortumo India.
According to data from the World Bank, only 4% of people in India have a credit card and 22% have a debit card. At the same time, more than 200 million people in the country already have a smartphone and the rate of smartphone adoption grew by 40% last year. This means a majority of the people going online cannot make purchases with traditional payment methods.
Fortumo’s carrier billing platform is available to 584 million subscribers of Airtel, Vodafone, Idea and Aircel in India. Carrier billing with Fortumo can be used by both prepaid and postpaid customers: the payment is either deducted from the account balance or charged to the customer’s monthly invoice. For digital content merchants such as Magzter, Fortumo has also developed a license management solution which can be used to give cross-platform access to digital content through a single payment.