Idea Cellular and Google have announced a partnership to enable more than 175 million subscribers of the mobile phone operator to make credit cards unnecessary for making purchases on Google Play.
Under the direct billing system Idea customers purchasing apps from Google's application store Google Play will have the amount deducted from the subscribers' prepaid or post-paid account.
The Aditya Vikram Birla Group company Idea Cellular thus becomes the first telco in the country to introduce this 'direct carrier billing'. With this integration, Android users can buy digital content like apps, games and movies via a smartphone without using credit cards.
"This premium service allows Idea subscribers to pay for all applications, content and in-app features on Google Play with the cost being directly charged to the subscribers' existing phone credit whether it be post-paid or prepaid," Idea chief operating officer P. Lakshminarayana said.
Subscribers will have to merely choose the Idea billing option when prompted during the purchase. A nominal convenience charge will be included in the final transaction.
Lakshminarayana added, "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."
Mike Hayes, director of business development, Android & Chrome Partnerships, at Google, said, "This collaboration with Idea Cellular is the first time Google Play has offered direct carrier billing in India. Like with lower minimal pricing for apps and pre-paid vouchers, we hope to make it easier for people to pay for the content they want on Google Play. We also hope that this will give a boost to the developer ecosystem in India helping developers to grow their businesses on Google Play and connecting to Indian customers."