Most of us are used to pay for apps and other digital purchases with our credit cards. But there are countries, such as India, Brazil and others, where consumers would rather prefer charging purchases to their phone bill. Not only this, but being able to add your digital expenses to your carrier bill could save you time and also become a really useful alternative payment method to credit cards.
Microsoft is trying to address this by announcing new Windows Phone partnerships for carrier billing. The Redmond-based company actually says that it is the first global smartphone platform that brings carrier billing to China, India, and Brazil, and by what we know, they seem to be right.
So, from now on, owners of Windows Phone devices in China (China Mobile), India (Idea Cellular), Brazil (Claro), as well as Verizon customers in the United States, can now pay for apps in their local Windows Phone Store by using their mobile carrier instead of a credit or debit card.
This new move is aimed at supporting the growth of the Windows Phone ecosystem in emerging markets, where, according to a report from The World Bank, around 93 percent don’t have a credit card. Microsoft is already boasting with some impressive numbers:
We’ve now established connections with 81 carriers in 46 markets, with a combined subscriber base of 2.6 billion – that is 46 percent of all subscribers worldwide and more than any other major smartphone platform supports today. Already more than 60 percent of all paid Windows Phone transactions are made via carrier billing.
In each of these countries, only one carrier has been roped in to support the carrier billing option for Windows Phone. The key is to get as many carriers to support the initiative like the erstwhile Nokia was doing with its Symbian phones few years back.
The feature is currently available only for the Windows Phone store, but once Windows 10 gets released, there’s a chance that Microsoft will unify the current Windows Store with the one aimed at its smartphone operating system. For the time being, Microsoft might have the lead over Android & iOS in emerging markets in what concerns the carrier billing option, but we wonder how long will it take for Apple and Google to respond.