Gadgets and Gizmos (India) - - FIRST TAKE -

Idea Cel­lu­lar, in as­so­ci­a­tion with Google Play, an­nounced the launch of car­rier billing for pur­chas­ing con­tent in In­dia. A con­sumer can now pur­chase a paid app, books, videos and more from the Google Play Store with­out en­ter­ing any band ac­count or credit card de­tails. The ser­vices will be avail­able to both pre­paid and post­paid sub­scribers. In­dia be­comes the 41st mar­ket to re­ceive car­rier billing.

To ac­ti­vate di­rect car­rier billing, Idea sub­scribers will have to turn on the op­tion by vis­it­ing set­tings in the Play Store over an Idea Cel­lu­lar net­work. The ac­ti­va­tion can­not be ini­ti­ated on WiFi. How­ever, sub­se­quent pur­chases can be made over a WiFi net­work.

An op­tion of Idea billing will ap­pear while pur­chas­ing paid con­tent and the user will be able to com­plete the trans­ac­tion by en­ter­ing their Google pass­word. Idea will ap­ply a con­ve­nience charge of 15-16 per cent on the to­tal pur­chase amount. In case the con­sumer is not happy with the pur­chase, they can re­turn the app within two hours and the con­ve­nience charge will be re­funded. The cus­tomer also re­ceives an SMS con­firm­ing the pur­chase. The whole idea of launch­ing car­rier billing is to en­able more smart­phone users, who are ap­pre­hen­sive in shar­ing their credit or debit card de­tails on the Play Store, to pur­chase paid con­tent. Users now will be able to pay us­ing their pre­paid bal­ance or post­paid bills with­out en­ter­ing card de­tails. The com­pany claimed that 25 per cent of its sub­scribers use data and the av­er­age data con­sump­tion per sub­scriber is 641 MB per month. Says Mike Hayes, Di­rec­tor, Busi­ness Devel­op­ment, An­droid and Chrome Part­ner­ships, Google: "This col­lab­o­ra­tion with Idea Cel­lu­lar is the first time Google Play has of­fered di­rect car­rier billing in In­dia. Like with lower min­i­mal pierc­ing for apps and pre­paid vouch­ers, we hope to make it eas­ier for peo­ple to pay for the con­tent they want on Google Play." Re­cently, Google in­tro­duced lower min­i­mal pric­ing in In­dia (first time glob­ally) where the apps can be priced for as low as `10.

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