Thai mobile operator dtac and mobile payments company Fortumo have announced the launch of direct carrier billing in Thailand.
Under the agreement, dtac customers will be able to pay for access to digital content - provided by Fortumo's merchant clients - by charging it directly to their mobile phone bill.
"Our partnership with Fortumo is providing convenience to dtac customers with Direct Operator Billing. Customers will be able to pay for top digital content and gaming by charging their purchases to their phone bill. It is our strategy to collaborate with world class partners to attract customers of those partners and leverage their products and services to develop an innovative campaign to maximize the benefits to our customers, as part of our Best in Digital Services strategy aiming to develop innovative digital services to meet customers' data and internet demands," said Tim Verouden, Senior Vice President and Head of Digital Services at Total Access Communication PLC (dtac).
Fortumo said its internal data shows that 64.8 per cent of paying users in Thailand access content from their mobile devices; and as such the launch of direct carrier billing will provide a much-needed one click solution for mobile users.
In addition, the partners said while Thailand has 33 million-strong subscriber base, only 4 million Thai people have access to credit cards. As such, alternative payments solutions are in demand.
"Only a quarter of the global population has access to credit cards. A majority of the unbanked people are located in emerging markets. This means mobile payments provide a strong alternative to bank-based payments in the fastest growing smartphone markets of the world. We are excited to seize this opportunity together with dtac in the Thai market and build direct carrier billing into the default payment method for online payments in the country," said Gerri Kodres, Chief Business Officer at Fortumo.
Thailand is the second market where Fortumo and Telenor Group - parent of dtac - have launched direct carrier billing; following a launch in Pakistan over a year ago.
Fortumo also operates direct carrier billing with operators in India and China, as well as Telefónica, Singtel, Turkcell, and Kyivstar.