(Last Updated On: October 1, 2014)

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You might have gone through a situation where you weren’t able to buy an app from the Google Play just because you don’t have a credit card. You might have a lot of debit cards and probably have a few internet banking accounts too, but Google won’t let you pay through them! We do not know why Google doesn’t support internet banking, but the internet giant is actively working on a workaround along with India’s leading telecom operator – Airtel to let users pay for the products on the Play Store.

 

Carrier Billing is one of the best solutions to secure online transactions

Unlike other payment methods, carrier billing will allow you to avoid filling in too many details while shopping online.

Carrier billing lets you unify your online purchasing bills into your monthly mobile phone bill.

This way you don’t have to reveal your credit card numbers to third-party merchants and thus keeps your financial information really private on the internet.

 

Bharti Airtel & Google are bringing carrier billing to India

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Bharti Airtel and Google are currently discussing their revenue sharing model and if the talks go well, then we should expect to see it listed among payment options on Google Play within a few months.

In India, majority of the smartphone users don’t have a credit card. Hence, they are not able to purchase anything on the Play Store. So, carrier billing will not only let people buy various things on Play Store, but will lead to increased revenue and profits to Google and app developers. Which is a good thing. Isn’t it?

Vishal Anand, Chief Product Officer at Newshunt said, “There’s only 2% credit card penetration (in India) and that way the app economy doesn’t make sense. Operator billing is incredibly seamless and has a much wider reach.”

An official familiar with the discussion said, “Google was asking for as much as 90% of the revenues.” Airtel obviously didn’t like it as the operators are used to taking over 50% of the revenues traditionally. But now, the operators are under a lot of pressure for paying out more to the publishers and developers. And that is why Vodafone has recently revised its sharing model to 70:30, passing out more earnings to the developers and content creators.

Google is aiming for $5 billion in revenue from digital goods

Google currently offers carrier billing in 26 countries including U.S, U.K, Singapore, etc. It also tied up with Etisalat, a UAE-based telecom operator in June this year for introducing carrier billing. With the introduction of carrier billing among other available payment options, Google is expecting $5B in global revenue from digital goods by 2017.

 

Carrier Billing providers in India

Bengaluru-based Ver Se, Boku (from US), and MoPay currently offer carrier billing in India. However, the telecom providers are required to confirm it from the users before introducing carrier billing based charges in their monthly bill.

In Sep 2013, Fortumo- an Estonia-based mobile payments company tied up with leading telcos in India like Airtel, Vodafone, Idea and Tata DOCOMO for the introduction of carrier billing in the country.

Microsoft has also showed interest in introducing support for carrier billings to the purchases made on its Windows Phone Store in India.

We believe that carrier billing would usher in a new era for the developers and the customers in the upcoming years. It would be interesting to know how Airtel and Google work out on the revenue sharing model without increasing the price of the products purchased via carrier billing.

On second thoughts, it might even turn out to be a cheaper payout option for the customers. Think about discounts on online payments, coupon codes for various recharge websites, etc.

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