Carrier billing in the Middle East & North Africa

5. December 2017.

This market report gives an overview of the mobile payments landscape of the Middle East and North Africa. It covers 10 markets where Fortumo has coverage. These markets are (by population): Egypt, Turkey, Algeria, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Morocco, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates, Kuwait and Bahrain.

MENA stands out in the mobile ecosystem due to a combination of high smartphone ownership rates across all markets coupled with significant spending on digital content. As an example, average revenue per user from carrier billing in Saudi Arabia ($16.7) from September 2017 was higher than in Germany, France and the United Kingdom.

At the same time, card-based payments are out of reach for most people in the region, which means that adopting locally available payment methods is one of the key factors for succeeding in MENA. According to SuperDataResearch it is in fact carrier billing that merchants tap into when looking for additional ways to grow: the payment method represents 14.8% of all revenue generated by digital gaming in the region, only being behind bank-based payments and e-wallets.

Beside the varying access to payment methods, the countries in the region are extremely diverse, both in economic and cultural terms. This market report aims to give merchants a better understanding of the region: what the local mobile landscape looks like, how to localize pricing to match user income, which payment methods to select in order to increase the amount of paying users and which devices to target.

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