Search engine Google has talks underway with Telecommunications Company Airtel on a deal that may see the two parties merge in Google’s digital items payment where customers will now pay for ebooks, paid apps and in-app purchase among others through the Airtel’s service.
Setting off in a country where smart phone users hardly use credit cards, Google is looking at a sale boost for its digital goods which will see developers and content creators earn more. Once the deal is through, Airtel subscribers will not have to collect banking details.
The mode of payment ‘carrier billing’, works effectively in countries where very few people use credit cards since customers are allowed to charge their digital purchases directly to their phone bills. The two parties are said to be in revenue sharing talks at the time of writing this piece in a deal where Vodafone is looking to introduce 70:30 ratio in revenue sharing policy in favor of the content creator.
Across borders, operators still don’t know how to interact with developers, giant companies are however embracing carrier billing to acknowledge their hard work. Currently, Google offers carrier billing option to customers in 26 countries, including the US, UK and Singapore. In June, it tied up with UAE-based telco Etisalat to offer carrier billing in the region. The company’s digital goods and apps business is expected to bring in over $5 billion in revenues by 2017 worldwide.
Microsoft has also hinted on introducing the solution in the same region in a quest to gain ground on its mobile operating system rivals by extending carrier billing capabilities for its Windows Phone Store app store.
Mid this year, Microsoft partnered Safaricom to provide consumers residing in Kenya the means to purchase Windows Phone apps and games through their contract due to the uptake of mobile apps that has transformed the way mobile users interact however, limited access due to limited payment options.