Fortumo cracks open the (Angry Birds) Piggy Bank to let Android devs offer carrier billing via SMS

You remember Bad Piggy Bank, the in-game payment model for Rovio‘s Angry Birds on Android which lets users either remove the ad on the free version of the game or buy the pending Mighty Eagle update. Yes, the one that circumvents Android’s own app store payment system in favour of carrier billing.

Well, it’s actually powered by European mobile payments provider Fortumo, which today has announced that it’s cracking open the Piggy Bank some more by adding support for offline payments (via SMS text messaging) to its Android library.

That’s the same in-app payments library as used by Angry Birds, which any Android developer can now have free access to.

Here’s how it works: the application requiring payment sends a text message to a short code. Payment is then verified when the application gets back a confirmation text message, while users initiate a payment with a single click, without leaving the application.

More evidence
, perhaps, that Europe leads the way in mobile payments?

Fortumo has billing coverage in 50 countries and about 200 mobile operators. Of note, the company says that there are no startup fees, monthly fees or minimum volume commitments, “making it suitable for small and large developers alike”.

Fortumo was founded in 2007 with offices in Europe (Tartu, Estonia) and US (Sunnyvale, California), and has gained over 49,000 registered service providers who have created over 156,000 mobile payments services to-date.