Fortumo, the mobile payments company that puts carrier billing in the hands of developers, has announced that its brought its in-app payments solution to Windows Phone — a move that it claims makes it the only third-party payment provider to offer cross-device integration via a single SDK for payments on Windows 8, Windows RT and (now) Windows Phone.
That may be true. However, it should be noted that competitor Bango signed an agreement with Microsoft as far back as April 2012 to provide carrier billing for users of Windows Phone Marketplace.
Today’s newly announced support for Windows Phone shows that Fortumo is putting its full weight behind the Microsoft Windows desktop/tablet/mobile ecosystem. Or at least hedging its bets alongside Android and HTML5. Last October it claimed first-mover advantage by offering Windows 8 app developers (including Windows Store apps running on Windows RT and Microsoft Surface tablets) a way to get in on the carrier-billed in-app purchasing action, with support in around 80 countries and 300 mobile operators — a feature that we noted at the time is particularly relevant in emerging markets where credit card take-up is significantly lower.
For end-users, Fortumo says that using its system, payments can be completed with 2 clicks and without leaving the app, which it claims leads to more conversions. The U.S./Estonian company is also sounding bullish on the Windows Phone platform as a whole.
In a statement, Martin Koppel, co-founder and Chief Revenue Officer of Fortumo, said: “With Windows Phone we are seeing a repetition of what happened when Android launched –- developers who were initially cautious in porting their apps to the new operating system are starting to see Windows Phone as a viable source of revenue.”
Which, if true, means that Fortumo now stands to benefit. That’s just as well. In February, the company added around $10 million more of funding to its coffers, courtesy of Intel Capital and Greycroft Partners.
Microsoft is also talking up the news and putting some money behind it. With the support of Redmond, Fortumo will process payments for free when developers integrate in-app payments for Windows 8 or Windows Phone by May 31st, 2013.