4Mobile payment is gaining momentum due to growing demands from the consumer side and the rapid growth of mobile commerce. It is a hot spot area with tremendous opportunities, so to no surprise competition is getting tougher and alliances emerge through the value chain to meet the expectations of the demanding consumer.

Payelp Global, an international payment and business development platform, for instance, just announced its partnership with Fortumo, a developer-friendly mobile payments provider that offers merchants "one-click" mobile payments in 79 countries worldwide. Payelp Global represents thousands of merchants and hundreds of payment gateways, and is part of a worldwide Internet network that started 10 years ago in Russia. Together with its parent company DengiOnline, a major business and payment platform, they started a strategic partnership with Internet and E-Commerce leaders Qiwi Global Network, the largest payment systems provider in Russia and CIS, Yandex, the largest search engine in Russia, and Mail.ru, Russia’s largest free e-mail service.

Their new partner Fortumo enables app and game developers to easily monetize users via micro-payments. Users pay with their mobile phone and purchases are charged to their mobile phone bill. Fortumo mobile payments are cross-platform on desktop, in mobile web and HTML5 apps -- and are great for in-app purchases on Android, Windows Phone and Windows 8 devices.

Fortumo has payment connectivity to over 300 mobile operators in 80 countries, including a number of exclusive direct carrier billing partnerships, and is backed by Intel Capital and Greycroft Partners. The company not only offers mobile payments in the U.S. andEurope, but focuses on emerging regions and "hard-to-monetize" regions such as Latin America, Middle East, Africa, Central and Eastern Europe and Asia. Over 100,000 developers have already signed up to offer Fortumo mobile payments, including top developers such as Rovio, Electronic Arts (EA) and Gameloft. In fact, Fortumo was the first to create a self-service setup and instant activation for operator billing, enabling any developer regardless of size or location to set up, get approved, and go live with mobile payments within 30 minutes.

The partnership between Payelp and Fortumo will enable Payelp's merchants to offer operator billing as a payment solution to their end-users; rather than charging purchases to a credit card, users can pay with their mobile operator bill instead. Its service works especially well in emerging regions and other cash-based regions where the use of credit cards is limited.

Fortumo CEO Rain Rannu stated, "Mobile payments bring the biggest revenue to merchants from countries where few people have credit cards - Central & Eastern Europe, Latin America, Africa and Asia. Our common expertise in emerging markets with Payelp will help more merchants earn additional revenue through operator billing.”

Payelp, which is part of aglobal payment platform that processes more than 500,000 transactions per minute, is able to offer merchants all around the world a unique service and valuable expertise that comes with having a worldwide payment network with multiple offices around the world.

"Albert Donahue, CEO of Payelp Global, stated, "We are very happy to be working with Fortumo as they are a rapidly growing mobile payment service company that will help our merchants to expand into areas where mobile payments are growing at a rapid rate. Fortumo has a strong presence in these growing markets, and we are looking forward to our partnership together."

Besides this recent business venture, just a month earlier Payelp Global partnered with Onebip, a company that started in 1995 and has been the first mobile payment service worldwide. Connected to over 250 carriers with 5 billion users in 70 countries, Onebip is part of the global mobile commerce group Neomobile. Onebip enables merchants to monetize digital goods and services to their users on a global scale using carrier-billing technology. As a leader in Europe and Latin America, Onebip has successfully supported the growth of many online gaming and entertainment businesses on mobile with an advanced technology platform.

“We are very pleased to be working with Payelp, a well-known e-commerce and business development platform with wide global coverage and top online brands. Onebip’s partnership with Payelp will provide online merchants with the opportunity to maximize their revenue with mobile carrier billing payments and at the same time offer their customers a seamless payment experience,” said Massimiliano Silenzi, Executive Director and Head of Onebip.

Mobile payment players seem to benefit enormously from sharingtheir win-win strategies, information, technologies, users, merchants, risks and other resources. By cooperating and competing in an orderly manner they achieve their goal of profitability. Open and cooperative business models are more likely to win as it is quite unrealistic for any single player to dominate the whole industry.

By Daniela La Marca