What’s the best time to organize a promotional campaign for your digital business?

What’s the best time to organize a promotional campaign for your digital business

For most most online commerce companies, December is the biggest month of the year in terms of revenue. That’s because people are buying gifts for the Christmas season. But not all people in the world celebrate Christmas, nor does the buying spree happen at the same time globally. Below we have listed global and regional events around which digital content merchants can additionally plan campaigns to increase revenue.

Secular and traditional events

During the off-holiday season which comprises most of the year, there are several times of the year when people are more inclined to make online purchases and give gifts to one another. These occasions happen on a global level which merchants can take advantage of:

  • Mother’s and Father’s Day: these take place at different times in various countries, which also allows merchants to run a similar, but localized campaign for different markets
  • Valentine’s Day: February 14th is the date when most couples show appreciation for each other. In the UK for example, almost half of the population buys something for their loved one on this day
  • Back-to-school and graduation periods: The young audience that graduates from (or starts going to) high schools and universities each year is sizeable. As they are the most connected demographic in society, gifts of digital goods and services are usually more than welcome.
  • Global sporting events: Recurring events such as the Olympic games, the Cricket World Cup, FIFA World Championship etc. can be leveraged by merchants to drive purchasing of sports-related content.

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White paper: risk and fraud management with carrier billing

White paper risk and fraud management with carrier billing

Today we are excited to publish our carrier billing risk management guide. This guide allows carriers and merchants to get a better understanding on how to monitor payment traffic for fraudulent activity and mitigate risk of bad debt by managing user spend limits while encouraging spending for legitimate users.

Risk management for carrier billing works in the combination of input from carriers, payment service providers like Fortumo and merchants . As a combination of these criteria, individual transactions can be assessed as well as spending limits applied to specific users and user groups.

Managing risk helps avoid a situation where subscribers encounter bill shock (realizing they have made more purchases than they expected). This in turn reduces customer complaints, chargeback request as well as potential issues with regulators.

Having a proper risk management solution in place helps both merchants and carriers increase revenue (enabling higher spending limits and allowing transactions from low-risk, high-spending users) while minimizing revenue losses (reduced amount of fraudulent payments and bad debt).

Download this white paper if you are interested in learning more about:

  • Types of fraud and their likelihood with carrier billing
  • Attributes that can be used for assessing user and transaction risk with carrier billing
  • Mitigating risk through applying (dynamic) spending limits to user groups
  • Criteria that should be considered when accepting and rejecting transactions
  • Examples of dynamically managing spend limits and assessing transactions
  • Suggestions for merchants in order to reduce their fraud risk with carrier billing

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What metrics to measure for your payment solutions?

Fortumo - what metrics to measure for your payment solutions

Regardless of what type of digital content you are selling online, analyzing revenue is a critical part of growing your business. To get a complete picture of performance, there are three different aspects to consider:

  1. Consumer behavior: user segmentation, purchasing behavior etc.
  2. Inventory performance: top-selling items, largest margins etc.
  3. Payment method performance

In this post, we take a look at the analysis of the last aspect, payment methods. While in the past merchants could use just one payment method and a standard payment flow (credit cards), the world has changed. As we recently pointed out, a majority of the digital audience no longer has access to this type of payment. So what metrics should you be tracking when integrating different payment methods to your digital business?

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Market report: carrier billing in the Commonwealth of Independent States

Market report - carrier billing in the Commonwealth of Independent States

We are happy to announce the addition of a new report to our line-up. This time we present you with an overview of the mobile market in the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS). The report covers 7 countries where Fortumo has coverage: Russia, CIS associate member Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Belarus, Azerbaijan, Moldova and Armenia.

CIS is significantly different from both Europe and Asia in that Russian culture and language are the predominant ones in the region. This also extends to online content consumption: Yandex provides significant competition to Google while VK prevails over Facebook. Digital content merchants entering this region should keep this in mind both from a localization and user acquisition perspective.

If you want to understand what the mobile market in the CIS region looks like, this market report will give you the following insights:

  • Demographic data, mobile coverage and banking access of each market
  • Carrier billing spend behavior of users in each market (quarterly revenue per paying user, average transaction size and transaction volume)
  • Overview of mobile operators and their market shares
  • Overview of traffic sources by platform and recommendations for localization

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What was noteworthy in the Internet Trends Report 2016?

What was noteworthy in the Internet Trends Report 2016 Fortumo

Have you already checked out the Internet Trends Report 2016? This annual slide deck from the venture capital company KPCB is an excellent source for understanding where the online and mobile industry is moving. Out of the 200+ slides of the presentation, here are the key points that stood out for us from a payments perspective as well as additional reading materials:

  • Slides 5-7: Internet user growth is slowing down globally but the rate is increasing in India. For digital merchants, this represents a significant challenge as a growing amount of their audience will be located in India, a market with extremely low access to traditional bank-based payments. To get a better understanding of the country, check out our India market report.
  • Slide 10: In addition to India, Asia on a broader level has solidified its position in the mobile ecosystem. More than half of smartphone owners of the world are now located in the Asia Pacific region. For more stats on Asia, download our Asia market report.
  • Slide 15: There is a huge disparity of users’ ability to buy smartphones, with phones being proportionally 10x cheaper to German consumers than those in Nigeria. This means digital companies focusing on emerging markets should seek out those device manufacturers who produce lower end phones as those are bound to have a higher reach in these markets.
  • Slide 37-38: “Easy Growth Behind Us” sums up the challenges of today’s digital merchants, something which we also wrote about back in January on VentureBeat. With few users entering the mobile ecosystem in Western markets, merchants will need to move fast and enter emerging regions to continue growing.
  • Slide 46-47: Online ads continue to be an annoyance and an increasing number of consumers are installing ad blockers to circumvent advertising. Microtransactions for digital publishing are one way to begin tackling this issue.
  • Slide 86-89: Sports streaming is predicted to explode and mobile operators have the opportunity to grab a piece of this huge market.
  • Slide 103: Messaging apps are becoming the central services hubs of the smartphone ecosystem. For mobile operators, working together with these OTT service providers is becoming a bigger necessity than ever before. Read more from our recent blog post as well as GSMA’s internet value chain report.
  • Slide 174-175: While most digital companies want to enter China, another significant opportunity is to cater to Chinese tourists abroad. As KPCB points out, China is the biggest “outbound tourism spending country” with the most highly engaged smartphone payment solution users.
  • Slide 184: Video and music entertainment is increasingly moving online, especially in Asia where there have been numerous new launches of streaming services over the past few months.
  • Slide 187: Sadly no Indian companies can be found among the internet market leaders of 2016. Perhaps India’s upstream internet growth compared to the global trend will change this by 2017?

What other highlights does the Internet Trends Report contain for you this year? Let us know in the comments below!

May mobile news round-up: streaming services popping up like mushrooms

May mobile news round-up - streaming services popping up like mushrooms

What happened in the mobile industry in May? Several new streaming services launched, Apple’s CEO visited India and Microsoft got rid of Nokia’s feature phones. Check out the full list of the biggest stories in payments, e-commerce and digital content below.

General mobile



Digital content



Carrier billing in India: what is the way forward?

Carrier billing in India - what is the way forward

This month the Indian telecommunications industry was stirred up by a big leap forward. India’s 3rd largest mobile operator Idea launched mobile payments on Google Play. This launch brings all mobile operators in the market significant new revenue opportunities but also creates new payment related challenges.

Google Play’s launch has caused two significant changes to the carrier billing ecosystem in India. First, Google pays developers 70% of the end-user transaction (a global industry standard, also used by Apple and Microsoft). This means the commercial terms for carrier billing in India have now reached the industry standard 70-30 split, partly also thanks to a different approach to taxation described on Medianama.

Besides app stores, such conditions make carrier billing much more attractive also for global digital streaming merchants who cannot go with standard terms as their business model includes paying  royalties to rights owners. With improved commercial terms, carrier billing could now also support the business model of companies like Pandora, Spotify, Netflix and Hulu.

Continue reading on Telecom Lead.


How 5 top digital merchants use localized pricing to boost revenue

When your customers aren’t bound by geography, what price should you charge them?

If you sell any kind of digital media or software, this is a question you have to answer. With more and more people coming online, your next customer might come from any part of the world.

Charging all these customers the same price is neither fair nor effective. A customer in Bangladesh does not have the same purchasing power as a customer in Norway. By charging them a flat price, you will end up overpricing some customers, underpricing others.

One way to counter this is to localize prices for all your markets. This way, customers in Turkey see a different price than customers in the US which matches up with their income.

Below, we’ll show you how 5 top digital merchants use localized pricing to boost revenues and offer a better shopping experience to their customers.

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14 free resources for digital commerce and mobile payments research

14 free resources for digital commerce and mobile payments research by FortumoMaking a business decision can be based on hunches but ideally is also backed up by research and data, correct? While there are hundreds of paid research companies out there focusing on the mobile industry, a lot of information is actually available for free as well if you have the time to dig through it.

We want to make your life a little bit easier and have compiled a list of free data resources across the web that cover general mobile industry trends and specific insights into carrier billing.

Check out the list below. Did we miss any useful resources? Let us know in the comments and we’ll add them to the list.

  1. GSMA Intelligence: GSMA is a telecommunications industry organization with more than 800 mobile operators as its members. Their research portal GSMA Intelligence provides a basic country-level over of telecommunication statistics.
  2. GSMA Mobile Money Deployment Tracker: Another helpful tool from GSMA to get an easy overview of mobile money products and services launched across the world.
  3. Wikipedia’s list of telecommunications regulators: Telecommunications authorities in most countries publish recurring (annual or monthly) overviews of the mobile market, including mobile penetration and mobile operator market shares. Wikipedia lists out most of these regulators, providing a helpful starting point in case you want to take a deep dive into the mobile ecosystem of a specific country.
  4. Google’s Consumer Barometer: Google’s research platform for everything related to the mobile ecosystem. The Barometer provides an overview of general industry trends as well as country-level data on consumers’ mobile behavior, for example you can check out the report on India
  5. World Bank’s Financial Inclusion Database: Information for banking related statistics. For example, their database includes information on debit and credit card ownership in all the markets tracked.
  6. Statista: Free statistics on just about anything related to payments, e-commerce and the digital ecosystem.
  7. Sandvine’s Global Internet Phenomena report: Sandvine profiles global internet data traffic trends in their reports, giving an overview of consumers’ data capabilities as well the digital services that drive the most traffic in each region.
  8. App Annie: Tracking of mobile apps and their revenue; a free account gives access to basic charts on downloads, paid app revenue and in-app purchases by country. Useful for tracking competing apps as well as researching new markets before entering them.
  9. Alexa: Another useful tool for tracking popularity of digital content. While App Annie gives an overview of apps, Alexa can be used to get more information on websites. Their Top Sites overview can be used for example for media planning as well as evaluating competitors’ success in specific countries.
  10. Digital River’s blog: Digital River is an online payments provider and their blog features insights on payments across segments from gaming to travel agencies and retail businesses.
  11. Adyen’s Mobile Payments Index: Another payment provider whose quarterly payment index can be used to assess the popularity of mobile payments across regions.
  12. Allot’s Mobile Trends reports: Research company Allot publishes a lot of reports on the mobile industry, some recent reports have covered customer engagement as well as mobile operator partnerships with over-the-top (OTT) services.
  13. KPCB’s annual Internet Trends report: One of the leading US venture capital companies puts out a very comprehensive (close to 200 pages) annual report on the global mobile industry, a must read for anyone who wants to keep themselves updated on what is happening in the mobile ecosystem.
  14. Fortumo’s ARPPU map and market reports: Last but not least, our own dynamic user spending map gives a historic overview of consumers’ spending in countries that we cover.  Fortumo’s market reports look at regions more specifically and give an in-depth overview of carrier billing in each of the 90+ countries where we provide payments.

Market report: carrier billing in Latin America

Fortumo market report - carrier billing in Latin AmericaFortumo’s latest market report gives an overview of the mobile payments landscape in Latin America. It covers 10 of the biggest countries in the region by population where Fortumo has coverage: Brazil, Mexico, Colombia, Argentina, Peru, Venezuela, Chile, Guatemala, Ecuador and Dominican Republic.

In Latin America, carrier billing is the second most popular payment method for online gaming according to SuperDataResearch. Carrier billing holds a 21% market share among all payment methods, making Latin America the most popular region for carrier billing globally.

This is because bank cards are available to very few people in the region, for example only 32% of people in Brazil and 17% in Mexico have a credit card. At the same time, more than 155 million people already own a smartphone, a number which is estimated to double by 2019. This makes carrier billing the perfect alternative to bank-based payments in Latin America.

If you want to understand the carrier billing market in Latin America better, this market report will give you the following insights:

  • Demographic data, mobile coverage and banking access of each market
  • Spending behavior of users in each market (quarterly revenue per paying user, average transaction size and transaction volume)
  • Overview of mobile operators and their market shares
  • Overview of traffic sources by platform and recommendations for localization

Enter your contact details below, click “Submit” and we will send you an e-mail with a link to the download.

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