Mobile payment startup Fortumo targets the long tail of virtual goods

[Estonia] Fortumo, the mobile payments provider, has launched FortuMoPay, a new service designed for selling credits in “online games, web applications and social networks.”

It differs from competitors such as Zong (which recently signed a partnership with Facebook) and boku, says the company, in the way it targets small and medium-sized businesses (or even individuals) by making it quick and easy to start taking mobile payments. There’s also no upfront costs; Fortumo takes a share of revenue instead.

A merchant gets to specify the amount they wish to charge for 1 item or credit and then Fortumo automatically handles the back-end activation of all corresponding short codes, keywords and currency conversions. It shouldn’t take more than 5 minutes to implement, says the company, and with very little technical skills. In this way, Fortumo is targeting the long tail of virtual goods.

“We believe that adding mobile payments to your site or app should be as easy, quick, and cost-effective, as creating a blog or a homepage”, says Rain Rannu, co-founder of Fortumo.

At launch, FortuMoPay is available in 36 countries, including most of Europe and major countries in Asia. Fortumo expects to reach up to 50 countries by the end of 2010, launching in the US in Q2 and in Latin America and Africa a little later.

The company also offers a premium SMS-connectivity API for developers, such as online game portals, mobile application developers, social networks etc.

Since launching in 2007, Fortumo claims 40,000 registered service providers who have created over 110,000 mobile payment services. The company has offices in Tartu, Estonia and Sunnyvale, California.