Mobile payment provider Fortumo has rolled out direct carrier billing platform in Cote d’Ivoire, Ethiopia, and Senegal.

The offering will be available to any prepaid or postpaid mobile account owner and will allow users to make seamless digital payments and get their purchases charged to their mobile phone bill.

Fortumo chief business officer Gerri Kodres said: "Quick economic growth coupled with access to low-cost smartphones has positioned Africa as an exciting region for digital content merchants.

"At the same time, it has been difficult to accept payments from users as the continent is very diverse and fragmented. Carrier billing solves this challenge by allowing merchants to integrate one pervasive payment method which is accessible to any mobile phone owner regardless of their location."

The company revealed that it is also keeping a keen eye out for opportunities in new business segments such as enabling carrier billing for financial service providers.

"While traditional bank-based payments do not generally work in Africa, we are looking at collaborating with virtual credit card providers and digital wallet merchants to enable them expansion into African markets through topping up these accounts via carrier billing," Kodres added.

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The company now offers services in 21 nations in the Middle East & North African region, with seven countries in Sub-Saharan Africa, namely Cote d’Ivoire, Ethiopia, Kenya, Mozambique, Nigeria, Senegal and South Africa.

The firm added that it is also planning to foray into additional African markets later this year.