One of the companies that has been quite busy in the payments industry over the last year or so is Fortumo. And there is a reason for it. It has the financial muscle backed by VC money. And why investors are interested in their story? Because carrier billing is emerging as a good proposition and Fortumo does well in that segment. On 18th February 2014, Fortumo announced a direct carrier billing partnership with Smart Communications Inc., Philippines’ largest mobile operator.
The partnership will enable subscribers to pay for games conveniently and seamlessly via smartphone. “The Philippines is a market which is very well suited for this kind of operator billing payment. Through the deal with Fortumo, our subscribers will enjoy the ease of paying for many global games and apps through their phones,” said Orlando B. Vea, Smart chief wireless advisor. “This will also benefit further the game developer’s community. Fortumo is also working together with Smart to educate local app and game developers about opportunities to open their apps for the overseas markets.”
“Phillippines has a very low penetration of credit cards, so online payments is a quite a headache,” says Noi, who plays the Popular MMORPG Ragnarok Online. “Most of our games have cash shops (where you can buy in-game items for game cash) and there is definitely a dearth of a good payment system to recharge game cash.” Fortumo has built a special payment flow for web payments which support payments on low-capability feature phones. Fortumo’s direct carrier billing solution does not require a user to send any text messages to complete the payment. is now available to more than 2.5 billion end-users globally.
Fortumo was launched in 2007, aiming to be the most developer friendly mobile payments provider. Back in February, 2013 Fortumo raised $10 Mn from Intel Capital and Greycroft Partners to foray into emerging markets. Globally, Fortumo has presence in over 180 countries and has tie ups with over 300 carriers and 92,000 developers. Some of the popular app or game developers who use Fortumo’s direct carrier billing service include Pop Cap Games, Rovio (Angry Birds app maker), EA, Gameloft, Badoo, etc.