Electronic Payments, Payment technology

Fortumo forms direct carrier partnership with Smart Communications

smartphone.Mobile payments firm Fortumo announced on Tuesday a direct carrier billing partnership with Smart Communications—the largest mobile operator in the Philippines—that will allow Smart’s subscribers to pay for games using their phones.

Fortumo, which provides billing services for game developers like Electronic Arts and Gameloft, will also make the games portfolio available for Smart’s GameX store.

“The Philippines is a market which is very well suited for this kind of operator billing payment,” Orlando B. Vea, the chief wireless adviser for Smart, said. “Through the deal with Fortumo, our subscribers will enjoy the ease of paying for many global games and apps through their phones. 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.”

Because of the low penetration level of credit cards, few people in the Philippines can make online payments. Less than three million cards are in circulation in the Philippines, compared to 104 million mobile phones in circulation.

Nearly 40 percent of phones in use in the country are smartphones, though most citizens still use feature phones. Fortumo has a special system for web payments that supports payments on low-capability phones.

Direct carrier billing, which allows users to complete payments without the need to send text messages, is now available to more than 2.5 billion end-users around the world.

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