Google and Idea Cellular partner to bring carrier billing to the Play Store

Idea Cellular has teamed up with Google to offer its prepaid users the option to buy apps, make in-app purchases and so on, adding the purchase amount directly to monthly bills, and negating the use of credit cards.


We've been hearing about Google's carrier billing plans for some time now, and finally it is here. Idea Cellular has teamed up with Google to offer its prepaid users the option to buy apps, make in-app purchases and so on, adding the purchase amount directly to monthly bills, and negating the use of credit cards.

So, Idea Cellular subscribers, both prepaid and postpaid, will be able to buy apps through direct carrier billing. This move could help boost app/in-app purchases. In fact, at the recent Reliance Games PGConnects, we had a quick chat with Anurag Sachdeva, Country Director (India & South Asia) at Rovio who emphasises how credit card limitations is one of the barriers at revenue generation in India. Idea is known to have teamed up Angry Birds-maker Rovio too.

At the same event, Amit Khanduja, CEO of Reliance Games told Firstpost, “We (India) are not an extension of what you launch in the US or the UK. We have unique requirements like content not only localised in language but also regional, payment methods people are applicable to here, as credit card penetration is minimum and only at the higher end of spectrum.”

Speaking on the occasion, Mr. P. Lakshminarayana, Chief Operating Officer – Corporate, Idea Cellular, said, “Idea has been at the forefront of the internet revolution and has built a robust network through an extensive 3G and now 4G rollout. With capabilities to provide wireless broadband services to nearly 880 million Indians, Idea is well poised to take the lead in the way content is served to an increasing army of digital savvy users. This tie up with Google Play creates a vast set of opportunities for Idea subscribers and also builds a secure gateway to the digital world.”

This option will make purchases easier considering that there is less than 3 percent credit card penetration in India. Bango CEO Ray Anderson said, "Taking Google Play carrier billing to India is a major milestone for Bango. India offers enormous potential for online commerce. We are pleased to provide Idea’s 182 million subscribers with a universal payment method so they can enjoy the complete app store experience, and to expand the reach of carrier billing in the Google Play store.”


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