Last month, Jacob gave a presentation on payments in emerging markets for game and app developers at the Application Developers Conference.
The presentation covers challenges in markets like Brazil, Nigeria, Turkey, Russia and China. Additionally, Jake gives an overview of the most frequent mistakes in global app marketing – including not accounting for localization, hardware limitations, payment solutions and price parity.
A video of the presentation is now available in the GDC Vault. Happy watching!
Today we are launching mobile operator billing in Indonesia for 205 million phone owners using Telkomsel, XL Axiata, Indosat and Axis networks. These users will now be able to charge purchases from top app and online developers like Rovio (Angry Birds), Electronic Arts, Gameloft and Box TV to their mobile operator bill.
Enabling Indonesia follows our recent announcement on launching mobile operator billing in China (world’s largest country by population) and India (world’s second largest country by population). With Indonesia connected we have covered five of the biggest countries in the world and 75 smaller ones – one payment integration can now be used for billing 4.5 billion people in 80 countries.
Indonesia has three times more mobile phones than credit cards and mobile operator billing is already more popular than credit card billing for online payments. The Indonesian digital goods market is estimated to reach 244 million USD in 2013 while less than 10% of payments are made with credit cards. Indonesia has an estimated 57 million smartphone owners and this number has doubled since 2012.
In fact, mobile payments are not only growing in Indonesia but numerous other South-East Asian countries as well. An extremely low penetration of credit cards across the region combined with a young population and booming smartphone growth means that there is a huge number of users who want to consume online content and the only way for them to pay is with their mobile phone.
This has also reflected in spending with Fortumo – the average revenue per paying users is very high in the region. With our 1-click in-app billing solution for Android which has a conversion of ~38%, here’s how the monthly average revenue per paying user looks like in some of these countries:
- Taiwan: 19.6 USD (415% year-over-year growth)
- Malaysia: 13.2 USD (7% growth)
- Thailand: 14.5 USD (75% growth)
By comparison, ARPPU for the United States in October 2013 was 6.9 USD, 11.2 USD for the United Kingdom and 10.6 USD for Germany. So there is definitely a strong revenue potential in these emerging markets for developers building mobile games and apps.
In the entire Asia Pacific region, Fortumo is now available for 2.3 billion phone owners in 10 countries – Australia, China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand & Vietnam.
We are also working on adding several new countries in the region during the upcoming months because Asia Pacific has become the largest region for revenue in digital gaming. During 2013, every third dollar spent on digital gaming globally will come from users within the circle on the map – totalling at 16.3 billion USD.
Want to get started with operator billing in Indonesia? Simply switch the country on from your Fortumo Dashboard. If you have not yet signed up for operator billing with Fortumo in 80 countries, click here to do so.
Next week we will be attending an awesome gaming event in France – Game Connection takes place from December 3rd to 5th at Les Docks de Paris. Almost two thousand people and companies like Blizzard, Wargaming and 6waves will be participating – check out the full conference agenda here.
France itself is one of the largest digital gaming markets in the world with revenue estimated to reach 1.2 billion in 2013. Operator billing and credit cards bring an equal amount of revenue to developers, both bringing in about 250 million USD to developers. From the end-user side, French players love paying with their mobile and are the second biggest users of mobile payments in Europe, only after Portugal.
Fortumo is directly connected to all 72 million French mobile phone owners and to the French developers we provide full operator coverage in 80 other markets. If you want to connect our mobile payments to your game or app and enable millions on French gamers and billions of other potential users to pay with one integration, come meet Fortumo at table 125 or send us a note at firstname.lastname@example.org to set up a meeting during Game Connection.
A bientôt a Paris!
Last Thursday we announced that we are going local in India by establishing an office in New Delhi and welcoming Sanjay Sinha on board as the General Manager for Fortumo India. Since the launch of our direct carrier billing solution in September, we have seen strong interest from developers for using Fortumo to collect payments from 600 million phone owners in India.
This week we will be attending two events in India which are focusing on solving challenges of the transforming digital landscape – Nokia Music Connects in Mumbai and the Mobile Internet Conference in New Delhi. While smartphone adoption in India is growing by 50% per year and people are consuming more digital content than ever, developers are finding it difficult to make revenue in a country with less than 20 million credit card owners. Meanwhile, operator billing with Fortumo already works for 70% of mobile phone owners in the country.
Interested in using Fortumo to collect online payments in India and 80 other countries globally? Get in touch with us via email@example.com to set up a meeting during these events.
Last Thursday Fortumo was honoured to receive a Meffys award for an innovative business model – our Android app distribution program. Meffys are part of the MEF Global Forum which is a two-day event connecting global mobile leaders in Silicon Valley. We are very happy for this recognition and want to share some thoughts on what we have learned about the Android ecosystem over the past year.
While most developers focus on Google Play, there is actually substantial alternative distribution and revenue potential for Android apps beyond Google Play. This is especially true in emerging markets where users have no way of paying for content on Google Play due to a lack of credit cards and tens of different independent, carrier & OEM app stores fill this void.
The One Platform Foundation lists 18 global alternative Android app stores and there are dozens of others with regional reach. Our distribution program provides developers access to the most important alternative channels as well as device preload opportunities and promotions by mobile operators which are much more difficult to reach.
As the landscape is fragmented, there are several challenges which make it difficult for developers to publish in these channels on their own:
Payment solutions. Google Play billing does not work in any of the 3rd party app stores for obvious reasons. This means that if you actually want to make revenue, you have to integrate different payment solutions which work best in each marketplace.
Limited reporting. Data on downloads and revenue are available on most of the 3rd party app stores but aggregating this information is difficult and takes time - you can imagine how much hours can be spent on adding up numbers from 18 different spreadsheets.
Submission requirements. Each store has its own requirements for apps, whether it’s on the marketing side (size of promotional graphics, possibility of getting featured spots or banners on the marketplace) or the technical side (some stores limit the size of apps that can be published). Figuring out what these requirements are takes time away from other valuable activities.
Finding the right stores. There is little information available about alternative app stores for Android and this means evaluating which stores are more successful than others is difficult as well. While the One Platform Foundation’s list gives an overview of how big each store is, it does not say much about the revenue potential of these stores.
Fortumo’s distribution program takes away the effort from the developer to publish apps in these stores. Our in-app purchasing SDK needs to be integrated just once to enable billing in any Android store and purchases within the app can be tracked automatically to each store, removing the need to spend time on data consolidation for analysis.
We also have a pretty good understanding of which apps perform better in which stores and know what the submission and additional promotion requirements for each store are – this means that the time to get an app published in most stores is usually less than a week. Furthermore, advertising networks charge between 0.5 USD to 1 USD per app install, our service is completely free.
The Android ecosystem is becoming increasingly fragmented and this is one of the reasons why iOS outperforms Android in terms of revenue. Fortumo’s experience with distribution has shown that apps can get up to 30-50% extra downloads outside of Google Play so additional distribution is something which no developer should overlook.
One Platform Foundation’s list of app stores is a good place if you want to get started with distribution on your own. If you want help from Fortumo, get in touch with us via firstname.lastname@example.org.
We are happy to announce that Fortumo has been nominated for two European Business Awards: the Estonian National Public Champion and the Infosys Business of the Year Awards. With 376 nominees from 31 European countries participating, we are asking for your help in making us stand out from the competition.
You can view our submission video and vote for Fortumo at the EBA homepage. In order to vote, you just need to enter your e-mail address and follow the instructions sent to your inbox. The voting closes on January 2nd and National Public Champions will be announced on January 14th.
The second public voting takes place between January 14th and March 25th – the result of this final round will determine the European Public Champion, announced at the Awards Gala event in May 2014, along with the winners of the other award categories.
We are also looking for your help in our Crunchies nomination for the best international startup – with 97 thousand merchants signed up, 80 countries covered, 60 employees from 9 nationalities and 4 offices on 3 different continents we think we qualify. If you agree, please vote for us.
Hats off to everyone who helps!
This week we are attending two events 10 472 kilometers apart. From November 12-14, Cape Town hosts one of Africa’s biggest digital economy events Africa Com. Meanwhile in Helsinki, thousands of entrepreneurs will gather for the the start-up conference Slush.
Africa is one of the biggest growth markets for mobile payments – almost nobody owns a credit card, but smartphones are becoming inreasingly popular and mobile internet penetration is higher than in many other regions of the world. We are also increasingly focusing on Africa and during the past few months, have connected Nigeria and several Northern African countries to Fortumo.
The lack of credit cards for many users who want to pay online is something which we will also be covering at Slush. Fortumo CEO Rain Rannu will be talking about removing credit cards from the equation for mobile payments. If you are attending Slush, drop by the Blue stage at 10:55 or the Yellow studio at 11:25 on Wednesday to hear what he has to say.
During the upcoming years, there will be no boom in credit card ownership in the emerging markets – that is why developers like Rovio, Electronic Arts, Gameloft, platform providers like Facebook and Barnes & Noble and device manufacturers like ZTE have chosen to partner with Fortumo to collect payments from 4 billion users in 80 countries.
If you want to find out how to start making revenue in these markets with operator billing, drop us a note at email@example.com to set up a meeting at Slush or Africa Com.
Every developer using Fortumo eventually reaches the Fortumo Dashboard. On the Dashboard, you can create or modify payment services, view transactions and revenue in real-time and get a full overview of payouts. I want to point out two additional functionalities on the Dashboard which are helpful in increasing your revenue, saving time and ensuring account security.
While the Revenue View gives a high-level understanding of where revenue is coming from, downloadable .csv format reports are the ones that allow you to do magic with the data.
As the number of transactions is often huge, we have made it easy for you to transfer the data into your own business intelligence solution, either by exporting it manually as a .csv file or using our Reporting API.
For detailed reporting we have built 2 different layouts where basic report is something you can easily plug into your backend to consolidate the revenue data for your internal dashboard. The full revenue report on the other hand is a powerful and rich big data report that has all the relevant information for every single transaction. This report is mostly used for deep analyses like measuring customer retention, frequency of repeat purchases, user buying behaviour etc.
Payments are related to many different functions in each company, including development, marketing, finance and end-user support. Because different people have different responsibilities, it also makes sense to provide them with the most relevant data which they need to get their job done.
For this purpose, we have created four different roles which can be assigned to your colleagues.
Admins have full access to your Fortumo account – they can create additional users, modify all payments and get notifications about all things related to Fortumo. It makes sense to have one Admin assigned from your team who is responsible for managing the Dashboard.
Finance users can view payout and revenue for accounting. They can also modify data for payouts and get access to payout reports in order to make sure that everything is working on the fiscal side. This role should be assigned to someone in your accounting team.
Technical user roles should be assigned to those members of your development team who are responsible for making sure the payment infrastructure is up and running. If something is broken, they can create and modify services and view specific transactions to see where things went wrong. They also get technical alerts – when something needs updating from your side, it makes sense that those who are responsible for development get the information as quickly as possible.
Support users can only see information about transactions and do not get any additional access or information. This is useful when you have for example outsourced your end-user support activities and do not wish external individuals to see detailed data about your payments.
In summary, here is what each user profile gets access to (click on image for bigger view):
You can access the Users menu here or from the menu in the top right corner of our homepage.
Today, we are almost doubling our reach in the Middle East and African region by switching on Egypt, Morocco, United Arab Emirates and Qatar. 125 million additional customers now have the option to pay for apps and games online using their mobile phone. There is great potential for mobile payments in the Middle East & Africa region – read our explanation here. If you want to get a better understanding of the games industry in the region, you should also check out articles on gaming in the UAE and Egypt.
Here are a few more interesting facts about each country which we’d like to point out. Users in Egypt are already used to making purchases on their phones with 41% of smartphone owners having done so. Egypt is also one of the “youngest” countries in the world with a median age of 24 – this means there are more people likely to play games in the population than in most other countries (we could not find any data for Egypt, but in the US 64 percent of gamers are below 35). Smartphones are taking off nicely in the country with Android being dominant. In the upcoming years, usage of mobile internet should increase heavily as all operators (Vodafone, Mobinil, Etisalat) are making investments into LTE networks.
The United Arab Emirates have one of the highest GDP-s per capita in the world, so it is also no surprise that the ARPU for mobile operators is the highest in the region (37 USD in 2011). Furthermore, the UAE has a very high smartphone penetration (more than three times the global average) and mobile internet usage is the biggest in the Middle-Eastern region. The digital gaming market in the country is estimated to be at 81.4 million USD in 2013 – bigger than for example Austria, Greece or Portugal.
While Morocco has strong overall mobile phone penetration, only 16% of the population has smartphones. However, if you are running a web-based service, it’s still possible to collect payments with Fortumo even on feature phones. Morocco is also notable for having a local Android phone in production which will hopefully increase the usage of smartphones. If you want to find out more about the local gaming industry and speak French, check out the Moroccan Game Developers association’s homepage.
Are you ready to collect payments from users in four new Middle Eastern & African markets? Simply enable the countries from your Fortumo Dashboard. Those without a Fortumo account can create one for completely free here.
Today we are switching on a direct carrier billing connection with Swisscom, the largest mobile operator in Switzerland. Switzerland has great potential to bring additional revenue to game and app developers as it is one of the countries with the highest spending on mobile services in the world – in Q1 2013, Swisscom’s reported average revenue per user was 30 euros per month.
Together with our earlier direct carrier billing connections to Telefónica, Telenor and all of the Chinese mobile operators, developers are now able to benefit from direct carrier billing in 40 countries globally.
While building out new operator connections, we keep two goals in mind: increasing the number of users who can use mobile payments and improving payments for existing users through newer technologies. While implementing direct carrier billing does not always expand user coverage, it does bring two additional benefits to developers:
- Higher conversion: As direct carrier billing does not require Premium SMS messages (either hidden or visible) to be sent, the end-user needs to make less steps to complete a purchase. Due to this, less people abandon the payment process.
- More flexibility: Direct carrier billing connections are enabled by operators with game and app developers in mind – this means it is often possible for one-time payments to have larger price points.
For developers who want to get the biggest revenue out of mobile payments, we recommend switching over to new direct carrier billing connections where they are available. To get started with direct carrier billing in Switzerland, visit your Fortumo Dashboard. If you are not signed up with Fortumo, click here to get started.