Vietnamobile, the smallest mobile operator in Vietnam, teamed with mobile payments company Fortumo to launch carrier billing on the Google Play app store.
The operator, which is part of Hutchison Asia Telecom, holds a 3 per cent market share with about 4.5 million mobile connections, according to GSMA Intelligence.
“Vietnam is one of the fastest growing economies in Asia and mobile services are a large part of this,” said Gerri Kodres, Fortumo’s chief business officer.
He said integration with Fortumo’s platform gives Vietnamobile a robust and scalable platform for connecting customers to the world’s largest digital merchants through one integration.
Carrier billing allows users to purchase apps and in-app content from the store by charging payments directly to their phone bill.
Credit card penetration in Vietnam stands at less than 2 per cent while smartphone penetration exceeds 40 per cent and is rising, in turn making carrier billing among the most popular payment methods in the country.
In addition to Google Play, Fortumo’s direct carrier billing platform is also used by digital media providers including Spotify, Sony, HOOQ and Gaana, and gaming companies EA Mobile, Gameloft, Kinguin and Rovio. To enable carrier billing for these merchants, Fortumo struck partnerships with more than 350 mobile operators across the world.
Viettel, Vietnam’s largest operator, became the first in the country to launch mobile payments on Google Play with a service commercialised in March 2016, also in partnership with Fortumo.