In a first of its kind collaboration, Google is partnering up with Idea cellular to bring carrier based payments to the country. The service is aimed towards easing the payments process for purchasing apps and other services, and in all probability, the collaboration is only the first in a series of many more to come.
Under the direct billing system Idea customers choosing to download premium apps from Google Play will be charged a fee deducted from their prepaid or postpaid account.
The idea — not talking about the company here! — certainly has a lot of potential for the country. Indians are still quite wary of entering their credit/debit card details on mobile and that itself is responsible for a lot of unmade purchases on the app stores. Granted, Apple’s iOS store is doing better — with it’s different structure — however, as far as revenue generation by apps and services on Google Play is concerned, safety concerns have kept a large share of customers away.
The partnership meanwhile, will give them a way to make one click purchases that actually require just one click. You see an app or subscription you like, you tap to buy it and voila — the amount has been charged to your pre-paid/post-paid account. Google’s partnership will see Idea’s millions of subscribers start enjoying the benefits, soon.
It is quite easy to see this service expand too. Idea is simply the first and if the concept catches on, other service providers are almost certain to follow suit. And that would provide a huge boost to the mobile economy, which has been lagging due to the lack of a suitable payment avenue — and there is just as much potential for it in the mainstream as well.
Meanwhile, service providers — a large chunk of whom are still forced to make money with ads — will have access to an alternative avenue of revenue generation — one which will also make a push towards improved quality. After all, if a subscriber has no qualm about the payment system and is not forced to choose an ad-supported model, he/she will obviously go for the one which provides the best value for money.
So yes, a paradigm shift in the mobile ecosystem may just be on the cards.