IDEA AND GOOGLE ANNOUNCE PLAY STORE CARRIER BILLING IN INDIA
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.