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Fortumo leverages global reach with mobile payments

European mobile payments company Fortumo is partnering with Payfone to expand its payment options in Western Europe and North America.

With the partnership, Fortumo’s clients will be able to make mobile purchases via their mobile devices by using  their phone number as authorization. The partnership will help expand mobile payments as it continues to grow in the space.

“Essentially, the Internet removes one more barrier between consumers and want they want to buy,” said Rodger Desai, cofounder/ CEO of Payfone, New York.

Payfone is a mobile payment solution.

Fortumo is an international mobile payment provider that works with app and game developers in 58 countries.

Global reach
According to Mr. Desai, the main goal of the partnership was to leverage Fortumo and position them as a leader in global payments.

“We are helping people with global ambitions have global reach,” Mr. Desai said.

“In the past, companies needed a physical presence in a country to do business there, but with mobile payments they can do business anywhere in the world,” he said.

Specifically, Payfone will power Fortumo’s in-app commerce.

In addition to making mobile payments simpler for consumers, Payfone is able to track spending habits and identify fraud and theft.

“Our technology allows us to not only help companies like Fortumo get mobile payments started but also check for lost or stolen phones,” Mr. Desai said.

“You need nothing but your phone number so as a merchant, you are able to sell more than you did before,” he said.

One-device payments
With large financial institutions and major carriers jumping on, mobile payments is undoubtedly a hot area for the industry. But with all the competition, some are worried there is not enough space in the area for everyone (see story).

In the long-term, Mr. Desai sees mobile devices as becoming the easiest, one-shot form of payment for consumers.

“Mobile payments will eventually be as easy to make as it is to make a phone call,” Mr. Desai said. “Increasingly, the phone will be the center of commerce.”

Final Take
Lauren Johnson is editorial assistant on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York