Alternative Finances

Fortumo Grabs Google EMEA Payments Chief

Mobile payments startup Fortumo has hired Google payments veteran Tim Carter as its chief revenue officer, the company announced on Friday (April 24).

At Google, Carter launched payments for Google Play and managed mobile operator and device partnerships in the Europe, Middle East and Africa region. That aligns well with what Fortumo, which does carrier-billed mobile payments throughout EMEA as well as across Asia, needs from its head of global business development.

“Fortumo already provides carrier billing to the largest number of companies globally and Tim’s experience from building up Android and Google Play’s billing solutions gives us added trust and leadership to scale up new areas of our business,” Fortumo CEO Martin Koppel said, adding, “Carrier billing has the potential to replace credit cards in certain segments and regions where it outperforms bank-based payments in terms of user-friendliness and coverage.”

The Estonia-based company, which launched in 2007 and hasn’t needed to raise more money from investors since 2013, has carrier billing agreements with hundreds of carriers, mostly for digital goods. However, Fortumo also signed a deal last year for a pilot test of carrier billing for the sale of physical goods — specifically, Angry Birds plush toys — with mobile carrier SingTel in Singapore. New business segments could bring in carrier billing volume of $1 trillion, the company forecasts.

“Mobile payments are the safe alternative to cash for the vast majority of people on the planet and are also driving innovations in consumer experience in Western markets,” Carter said. “Fortumo’s team has created the go-to operation worldwide for merchants and mobile operators to monetize digital content in emerging markets in a secure and scalable way. The company’s continued investments in engineering, operations and partnerships are setting it up for further capitalization of global smartphone populations, at a time when the mobile payments industry is about to revolutionize how the world buys goods and services.”

Carter will work from Fortumo’s London office, the company said.

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