Tools & Services for Developers Building Windows Phone & Windows 8 Apps

Microsoft’s biggest developer-focused event Build took place in San Francisco last week. Among the announcements made were Windows Phone 8.1 and a personal assistant for Windows Phone users, Cortana. If updates to the Windows ecosystem have raised your interest in developing apps for Windows Phone or Windows 8, there are a lot of helpful third party tools which will help you through the process.

We’ve put together a list of advertising, analytics, authentication, back-end SaaS, CRM, cross-platform development, localization, payment and push notification solutions you can use when developing your apps. Also included are some developer communities focused on Microsoft platforms. Click the infographic for a bigger view & scroll down for the listing.

We also have a special offer for you: developers who add Fortumo in-app payments SDK to their Windows Phone or Windows 8 app will get up to $25,000 for integration.

 

Read more »

How to Organize a Successful Sales Campaign with Mobile Payments?

Working daily with a large number of merchants building web services, games and apps allows us to see what strategies different companies use to grow their revenue. We have previously written about localization, finding the right distribution channels and dynamic pricing which help merchants acquire more users in emerging markets and get these users to pay for content.

While such activities are necessary, they require a long-term effort and there is no immediate impact. In parallel, it makes sense to look at actions which bring a quicker impact in revenue – setting up and running sales campaigns.

6 billion people on the planet have a mobile phone which means a large majority of your user base can make payments using mobile operator billing. Our data shows that the average payment conversion of merchants using Fortumo is around 37%. This means the hardest part for merchants is getting the users to actually reach the payment window. Looking at your existing payment data and setting up a successful campaign helps overcome this challenge.

Here is what a monthly campaign with mobile operator billing can look like:

The payment volume in case of this customer is steadily growing after each campaign as new paying users are introduced to payments through attractive offerings. For them, the same recurring campaign has been increasing payment volumes for over a year now. So how to achieve such results for yourself?

Read more »

Fortumo Mobile Mixer In San Francisco: Creating Successful Apps For Windows Phone

Next week Microsoft Build will be taking place in San Francisco. Fortumo will be holding a party for mobile developers on April 2nd. Click here to sign up for the event if you’re interested in increasing your revenue from Windows Phone & Windows 8 apps.

The mixer will be a great opportunity to meet other mobile developers, network and listen to their thoughts about Microsoft platforms. There will also be a panel during the event involving Fortumo, AdDuplex, PocketGamer and others where we’ll discuss the challenges and opportunities for mobile developers in the Microsoft ecosystem.

If you already are building apps for Windows Phone or Windows 8 or are thinking about porting them, be sure to check our ongoing campaign: you can earn up to $25,000 for adding Fortumo mobile payments to your app!

See you in San Francisco!

We Guarantee You Will Make at Least $25,000 by Adding Mobile Operator Billing to Your Windows Phone & Windows 8 App

1.5 years after launching our payments on Microsoft platforms, Fortumo mobile operator billing is bringing in more revenue for merchants on Windows Phone & Windows 8 compared to Android. In fact, Windows Phone apps are now making 1.5x more revenue per download than iOS apps and as much as 8x (!) more than Android apps.

Starting today, we are giving you a risk-free option to put this claim to the test. Integrate Fortumo operator billing into your on Windows Phone or Windows 8 app and you will get up to $25,000 in advance to cover your integration efforts. We have committed $1M to prove the effectiveness of mobile payments in emerging markets.

Why are we doing this? Because developers with global presence know that the success of payment methods differs by countries. While credit cards & PayPal work in the US and Alipay in China, mobile operator billing has the biggest coverage in most emerging markets because phones outnumber credit cards 10 to 1. Microsoft has also realized this as they have given you free choice over what payment solutions to use on their platforms.

Mobile operator billing works great on Microsoft platforms because Windows Phone and Windows 8 are increasingly capturing market share in regions with low credit card penetration: Latin America, Eastern Europe, Asia, Middle-East & Africa. For people in these regions, operator billing is often the only way to make payments inside apps.

Ready to try out mobile operator billing on Windows Phone & Windows 8 in emerging markets with Fortumo? In order to get your $25,000, click here to get started.

Read the full announcement here.

Meet Fortumo at Global Mobile Game Congress!

More than 7000 gaming industry professionals will gather in Beijing next week for the Global Mobile Game Congress. Fortumo will be attending GMGC as well and we are honoured to be invited to share our experiences with the Chinese mobile game industry.

If you are a Chinese mobile developer looking to take your apps overseas, drop by Main Stage A on Tuesday:

  • Fortumo SVP Gerri Kodres will be giving a keynote speech on the topic “Monetization in Emerging Markets. Stop Ignoring 50% of Your Audience” at 13:45

  • Panel discussion of opportunities and challenges for Chinese mobile developers in the Middle-Eastern Region, where Gerri will be participating at 15:00

If you’re a Western developer attending the event, be sure to find us as at the event as Fortumo is the only Western mobile payment provider with connections to all mobile operators in China, as well as a content provider for several Chinese smartphone manufacturers, including ZTE.

Send an e-mail at bd@fortumo.com to see how mobile operator billing can help increase your revenue from mobile apps!

Meet Fortumo at Game Developers Conference @ Booth 1925

From March 17th to 21st, Game Developers Conference is once again taking place at Moscone Center in San Francisco. Visit us at booth 1925 or e-mail us at usbd@fortumo.com to see how we can help you grow your payment volume.

During GDC last year, we announced launching mobile payments on Windows Phone and Microsoft’s smartphone platform has grown rapidly over the past year:

  • Windows Phone apps now make 8x more revenue per download than Android apps: the 3 billion Windows Phone app downloads are worth 24 billion downloads on Android;

  • Meanwhile, it is much easier to stand out on Windows because many of the top Android titles are not yet available on Windows – less apps means a higher likelihood of getting noticed;

  • Windows Phone has equal pricing to Android, which is especially important for emerging markets;

  • Windows Phone is outselling iOS in 24 markets – most of these are in countries where mobile operating billing is the primary way users pay for apps.

Windows Phone has positioned itself to succeed in emerging markets. At GDC next week, we will make your integration costs for adding mobile operator billing to your apps on the platform disappear as well – stay tuned!

India: the Elephant in the Room for Mobile Developers?

Article originally appeared on the TheNextWeb.

If you were to launch a mobile app or game today, what markets would you go after? Common sense would say US, Japan, China, UK, South Korea, Germany, Taiwan and Australia as these are the countries at the top of revenue charts for mobile developers. However, going by this list leaves out the elephant in the room: India.

If India is not at the top of the revenue charts, why should it matter for developers? Let’s look at the facts.

For starters, India will have more smartphone owners by the end of 2014 than there are people living in Australia, Germany, South Korea, Taiwan and UK combined. The latest estimates – admittedly, perhaps too optimistic – say India will overtake the US in smartphone ownership this year as well.

So there will be a lot of smartphone users, but if China is leading in revenue and smartphones, why not focus there instead?

China vs. India?

China still remains a big challenge for developers. The country has great limitations in entering the market – not just local regulations and publishing rules which are a grey area, but also barriers in language and culture.

Our own experience has been that obtaining a publishing license in China may take up to 12 months to complete – even if you have a dedicated team working on it. This is not to say that China should be ignored, but it’s important to understand that entering the Chinese market takes effort and time.

India, on the other hand, is a relatively Westernized country in the technological sense. A significant part of the population speaks English and there aren’t any real restrictions on launching your online services or games.

Unlike China, all global app distribution channels are available and widely used in India. There is also no competition from giants like Tencent or Baidu for China who have been able to attain a critical mass among consumers. India is therefore still a greenfield opportunity for many online and mobile content categories. But what about the revenue?

Lifetime value is key to revenue in India

According to estimates, 10 to 15 percent of monthly mobile ARPU in India is spent on content or value added services. In terms of monetary value, this is approximately 20 INR ($0.3).

Perhaps low by Western standards, but for an app with 1 million users, this would already translate into $300,000 monthly additional revenue for a relatively small effort. ARPU is expected to grow as well since the payment landscape for content is starting to slowly change in India.

So far there have been three key challenges in making revenue in India. The biggest challenge has been finding an appropriate payment mechanism. An enormous gap exists between people who are able to consume content (both smartphone and feature phone owners) and people who can pay through traditional methods (credit cards).

Going after revenue with credit cards in a market where only 1.7 percent of the people own them is a great way to set one up for failure. Working with local merchants we’ve seen how bringing operator billing into the payment mix resolves this issue.

The other key challenge is distribution, how to reach consumers. Thankfully, social media marketing, ad networks, mobile operator and OEM deals provide significant thrust. In fact, we work very closely with our developer partner in their distribution endeavor.

But even with broader payment coverage and distribution, the average user spending will still remain relatively low. That’s the third key challenge.

Our own Android in-app payment data indicates monthly average revenue per paying user of around $2. It is important therefore to get most out of customer lifetime value – retain and engage users for a reasonably long time, at least four to six months. Otherwise, the amount invested into user acquisition compared to their spending simply does not pay off.

Understanding ABC, feature phones & local OEM-s

So far the growth in mobile consumption has been driven mainly by English content, aimed at the urban population living in bigger metro areas like Mumbai, Delhi and Bangalore. However, most of the future growth will come from rural areas where large, uncaptured audiences expect localized content.

Native English speakers tend to forget that less than a fifth of the world can understand them. Localization means not just translation of your service into Hindi and other local languages (there are 30 languages spoken by more than a million native speakers in India). In some cases it also means localizing your content.

Historically any content related to ABC – astrology, Bollywood and cricket – has had the biggest success with Indian audiences. Even six of the top 10 videos on YouTube in India are Bollywood or local cinema, TV or cricket; translating your content and modifying it to fit around these culturally dominant themes gives a strong competitive advantage over other developers trying to battle for eyeballs.

It’s not just local Indians who like this content – there are an estimated 25 million people of Indian descent living outside India as well.

Another key issue to understand about the Indian market is that even though smartphones are growing at a huge rate, feature phones still dominate. So for wWb services, having feature phone friendly access to your content is essential.

Ninety percent of YouTube views, for example, come from feature phones in India. Adapting existing content to meet local needs is nothing new as it has been utilized in Africa as well by companies like Mxit and Eskimi.

Adding 700 million feature phone owners to your potential customer base should be enough of an incentive to not forget this part of the mobile user base.

Thirdly, local smartphone manufacturers and app stores are relatively popular in India. While most consumers want to buy a phone from Samsung, Apple or Nokia, local customer tastes and low income have given space to Indian OEM-s like Micromax, Karbonn and Lava to capture a third of the market.

Beside Google Play, the alternative app stores like MobangoSlideMe and Getjarare quite popular amongst smartphone owners as well. For those merchants not familiar with India, it makes sense to work together with these local players who have a strong understanding on the local mobile market.

There are only so many countries in the world with a potential smartphone ownership of more than 1 billion. While India is currently big for Western developers in terms of downloads, the revenue challenge still remains to be solved.

The booming mobile gaming market in China has proven that such challenges can be conquered. And if India does become as huge in the next few years as China is today, would you be happy with the missed opportunity?

Fortumo Launches Operator Billing in Jordan

Today Fortumo is launching its next country in the Middle-East: operator billing is now available to 6 million mobile phone owners in Jordan. Our coverage in the country is 100% with all three mobile operators (Orange, Umniah and Zain) supported.

Jordan has one of the youngest populations in the world (median age 21.8 years) and already half of the phones in the country are smartphones. Due to this reason, we expect Jordan to bring a higher than average revenue to merchants switching on operator billing in the country.

The unbanked Middle-Eastern region as a whole is a great opportunity for online merchants. In January, the average revenue per paying user (web & Android combined) in Turkey was 10.7 USD, United Arab Emirates at 9.7 USD and Saudi Arabia at 8.4 USD. Users from the Middle-East spend more than 1 billion USD on digital gaming in 2013 and Jordanians were responsible for approximately 10% of this spending.

Due to low credit card penetration, alternative online payment solutions are very popular in Jordan. For example, the mobile operator Orange lets people pay their electricity bill using their phone and the e-commerce service Cashbasha allows online shoppers to order items from eBay to be paid for in cash.

Want to take your share from the growing smartphone market in Jordan? Head over to your Fortumo Dashboard and enable Jordan for your payment services. Don’t have an account with Fortumo yet? Click here to sign up.

Fortumo Brings Operator Billing to OpenIAB

Today we are once again making payments easier for Android developers. Fortumo has partnered with the One Platform Foundation to add operator billing to the Open In-App Billing (OpenIAB) initiative.

We have previously written about how reaching end-users is challenging for Android developers – Google Play is not the only channel for distribution and dozens of alternative app stores are growing in market share, especially in emerging markets. Google Play payments do not work in these alternative channels so while you are getting additional downloads, using the same payment solution does not work.

It is also important to note that a growing number of Android devices shipped are not running Google’s version of Android: 30% of Android phones shipped in Q3 2013 had a customized version of Android installed into them. These devices also do not support Google Play billing functionality and many device manufacturers are preloading their own app stores into these devices as there is no revenue to be made for them through Google Play.

The OpenIAB project aims to solve these problems by creating a unified billing library which can be used to collect payments from any app store. OpenIAB already works on Google Play, Amazon App Store, Samsung Apps, Appland and Yandex-Store. The billing library integrated into your app automatically detects which store the user is coming from and launches the appropriate payment flow.

Operator billing will further inrease the coverage of the OpenIAB library as our payments work on any app store for end-users in 80 countries. The 1-click payment flow has significantly higher conversion than credit card based payments, especially in countries where very few users have credit cards. Since Fortumo is also the official in-app payment partner for NOOK app store, it means you can easily collect revenue from NOOK apps as well.

Fortumo will start supporting OpenIAB in March 2014 – if you are interested in becoming a pilot merchant, let us know at bd@fortumo.com. More information about the OpenIAB project can be found on their homepage.

Read the full announcement here.

Fortumo Goes to the Philippines: Direct Carrier Billing for 57 Million Subscribers of Smart

Where would you find a country in South-East Asia with 14 times more smartphones than credit cards and the biggest number of app downloads in the region? The correct answer is the Philippines. This country – made up of 7107 islands – is the latest addition to our direct carrier billing coverage thanks to a partnership with Smart Communications.

Over the past couple of months, South-East Asia has been a big focus for us as we have expanded to Indonesia and Singapore. The Philippines is another large country in a region with some of the highest average revenues per paying users (ARPPU) globally so we expect to see a jump in revenues for merchants who launch payments in the Philippines.

Filipinos are some of the most active consumers of mobile content (especially apps & games) in the region and there are already 40 million smartphone owners in the country. Meanwhile, there are less than 3 million credit cards in the country which makes operator billing the perfect solution to receive payments online.

In addition to providing a frictionless direct carrier billing solution, developers can also use our partnership to launch games in Smart’s GameX game store.

Want to be one of the first merchants to launch payments for your app, game or service in the Philippines? Let us know via bd@fortumo.com.

Read the press release here.