New Income Streams for Developers Via Smart Direct Carrier Billing Solution

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Smart head of partnerships and Developer Network (Smart DevNet) chief evangelist Paul Pajo discusses with the 2017 DevCon summit participants the platform of international mobile payment firm Fortumo, the telco’s partner for direct carrier billing in the Philippines.

The growing number of developers in the country can enjoy the benefits of additional income streams through the direct carrier billing service of Smart Communications, the wireless subsidiary of leading telecommunications provider PLDT.

At the recently concluded DevCon Summit 2017, Smart Developer Network (Smart DevNet) chief evangelist Paul Pajo shared with the delegates the platform of international mobile payment provider Fortumo, the network’s direct carrier billing partner since 2014. Fortumo enables developers to use mobile operator billing for in-app and web purchases.

“The good thing is Fortumo is already integrated with Smart, so you can start earning with your app using our airtime credits,” Pajo told the professional and aspiring developers who attended the summit.

Through direct carrier billing, mobile subscribers can make in-app and web purchases using their airtime load without using a bank account or credit card. This addresses the challenge of financial inclusion in the Philippines, where only about 63.8 percent of cities and municipalities have access to banking services.

A recent study by Visa also showed that personal consumption expenditures in the Philippines using credit and debit cards account for only 9 percent, while it’s 50 percent in Singapore, 30 percent in Malaysia and 16 percent in Thailand.

The Philippines, however, is still one of the fastest-growing market for smartphones in Southeast Asia, according to International Data Corp. (IDC).

“This makes carrier billing a viable option for those who don’t have credit or debit cards—and a lucrative one for developers, who may reach more users because of this service,” said Pajo, who is also Smart’s partnerships head.

He pointed out that Smart and Fortumo do not charge any fee for the service. “It’s a strict revenue sharing agreement,” Pajo said, adding the developer onboarding only takes about a week because the service had already been localized.  “As this is a self-service system, there is no need to sign contracts with Smart and Fortumo,” he added.

Smart has been providing consistent support to the local developer community through Smart DevNet. The company has been a regular partner of Developer Connect Philippines in mounting the DevCon Summit, the biggest developer conference in the Philippines.

This year, Smart sponsored the summit together with other partners, including PLDT Innolab, where innovative products and business solutions are tested and developed to enhance ICT services and technology in the country.

With the theme “Changing the Game,” DevCon Summit 2017 highlighted technologies and topics such as blockchain, analytics and artificial intelligence, cybersecurity and devops. It featured six keynotes, four panel discussions and 24 breakout sessions over the course of two days.

Developers interested in the Fortumo platform may register at https://dashboard.fortumo.com/. DevCon summit participants are encouraged to sign up using the special code SmartPH50.