US-based mobile payments firm Fortumo has launched a carrier billing solution for Kenyan cellco Safaricom, which the vendor says will benefit more than 18 million Safaricom customers, enabling them to make payments online and inside mobile apps by charging purchases from digital content merchants to their mobile phone bill. Commenting on the partnership agreement, Gerri Kodres, chief business officer of Fortumo, said: ‘Emerging markets like Kenya have become the biggest drivers of smartphone growth globally as cheap smartphones are becoming available to millions of people in growing economies. Meanwhile, digital content merchants are struggling to generate revenue from these users due to low credit card penetration. Here Fortumo helps solve the issue for merchants by allowing any person – with or without a bank account – to make payments online through carrier billing instead.’
Kenya becomes the third country covered by Fortumo’s carrier billing in Sub-Saharan Africa, with established connections already in place for Nigeria and South Africa.