Fortumo Ltd. has secured a partnership with handset manufacturer ZTE Joygor to provide in-app purchasing and billing software on ZTE handsets.
Through the partnership, Shenzhen City, China-based ZTE Joygor will provide Fortumo's carrier billing connections to users on its app platform, which comes preloaded on millions of ZTE devices worldwide, the companies announced June 4.
As part of the deal, users of ZTE phones will also get access to mobile games already using Fortumo's in-app purchasing for Android, as these apps will be preloaded directly to ZTE handsets. ZTE sells phones in 80 countries.
Last week, Fortumo extended its direct billing services through agreements with European telcos Telefonica and Telenor.
All of these recent deals fall in line with Fortumo's new business direction, says Gerri Kodres, senior vice president of business development and carrier partnerships at Fortumo.
"We have shifted our business strategy from being only a mobile payment provider to being a platform provider," Kodres says.
The company seeks partnerships with software developers, original equipment manufacturers, carriers and app stores, Kodres adds.
"Fortumo payments are integrated into apps, which is much easier and faster than building a separate solution for each app store or phone manufacturer," Kodres says.
Becoming a platform provider has been the key driver behind Fortumo's momentum, Kodres says. "We can simply move much faster and get solutions live quicker than competitors," he adds.
ZTE expects to make its first handsets with preloaded apps using Fortumo's billing and in-app purchasing available in the second quarter of this year.
Estonia-based Fortumo also supports in-app purchasing for Barnes & Noble's Nook app store.