Video-on-demand (VoD) provider iflix is partnering with mobile payments company Fortumo to launch direct carrier billing for iflix subscribers in four markets in Asia.

Iflix, which claims 5 million subscribers worldwide, said the launch allows more than 620 million people in Indonesia, Pakistan, the Philippines and Thailand to subscribe to its VoD service by using their airtime balance or monthly phone bill to pay for the service.

Using Fortumo’s payment APIs, iflix introduced carrier billing at Indonesian operators Smartfren and 3 Indonesia, Telenor and Zong in Pakistan, Smart and Globe Telecom in the Philippines, and dtac in Thailand.

In the emerging markets where iflix operates, less than 10 per cent of people have a credit card, while at least 40 per cent of consumers have smartphones. This means direct carrier billing gives more people the ability to pay for iflix subscriptions, the company said.

Tim Whelan, global head of payments at iflix, said: “As we continue rapid expansion into emerging markets, we are confident Fortumo will provide seamless payment integration in our markets.”

Andrea Boetti, Fortumo’s VP of global business development, said: “Smartphone ownership and digital content consumption is growing fastest in the emerging markets of Asia, and iflix has successfully tapped into this opportunity.”

Iflix and Fortumo said in a statement they plan to extend carrier billing to more mobile operators in Asia as well as the Middle East and Africa over the upcoming months.