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Google partners with Airtel, Vodafone to extend carrier billing for Play Store in India

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Earlier this year, Google debuted carrier-based payments in India in partnership with telecom operator Idea Cellular. The tech behemoth had then stated that it was just a first step and there was scope for extension of the same, if the concept fares well with the masses.

Well, it seems that the idea did ring a bell among people as Google has today announced that it is introducing carrier billing for two of the biggest telecom operators — Airtel & Vodafone — in the country. These new partnerships were announced at a Google Playtime developer event in Gurgaon, to bring the easy payment option to over 300 million combined subscribers using their services.


The app developers present at the Playtime event expressed their delight over the extension of carrier billing feature in a string of tweets.

The carrier billing feature is extremely useful and popular among Indian masses as they’re still weary of sharing their credit/debit card information on mobile devices. Thus, they have no secondary choice to complete purchases on the Play Store. Also, though Internet and smartphone has penetrated every rung of the society, financial services are still lacking for most people. This boosts downloads for free apps, but trumps premium paid apps right out of the picture.

Thus, the carrier billing option allows users to download premium apps and seamlessly make digital payments on the Play Store via their telecom operator instead of plastic methods. This integrated billing feature is applicable for both prepaid and postpaid customers of both operators. This means that Google will either deduct the required amount from your prepaid mobile balance or add it to your monthly postpaid bill.

This is the one feature that Android developers believe will remove the friction caused to due to lack of payment modes in India. It can be regarded as one of the most convenient methods of payment for an emerging nation like ours.

A hands-on guy fascinated by new apps, technologies and enterprise products.

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