If you are planning to make a purchase on Google Play Store, such as an app, movie, music or any media it offers, there is good news for you. Google has activated a carrier billing policy on the app store for subscribers of Idea Cellular in India. This is the first time that such a program is made available, using debit or credit cards, as well as redeemable Play Store vouchers. It is available to both post and pre-paid subscribers.
However, this news has sparked curiosity because neither Idea Cellular nor Google has officially announced anything regarding this matter. It started when a Reddit user spotted such a billing method being already available to purchase apps and games on Android devices and shared a screenshot of it. This has been tested by other individuals, who confirmed that carrier billing in truly available.
However, this option comes with a big caveat, as one should be using an Idea SIM and should be on Idea Cellular’s internet network. Also, some users reported that such an option disappeared on Wi-Fi, though others tested it, and managed to still get the carrier billing option even when they are using a wireless network.
Previously, paying for apps was not a possibility in India, as most credit card users here do not have international payment options authorized on their cards. But with carrier billing, at least Idea Cellular users are now able to make purchases without a card and any conversion. It can also be used when purchasing movies, songs and books on Google’s service, which was not possible until now.
If this policy is implemented by other carrier networks, such as Vodafone and Airtel, which are among the largest telecommunication companies in the country, we will be seeing a huge increase in such method of payment. It would be the same as having a wallet on your smartphone, except for the fact that you will not need to pay for it immediately if you are on post-paid.
Aside from the subscribers, app developers would also enjoy carrier billing, as paid-app and in-app purchases are expected to increase. Indians are happy with this development because it does not only simplify the billing process, but complies with the standards to have a two-level transaction authentication system. Also, future developments of this system would pave the way for other Google Play services, which are restricted to first-world countries.
To get more information about the Google Play Store, check out this page.
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