Samsung has today announced operator billing integration on Samsung App store. They have partnered with two Indian telecom operators Vodafone and Aircel. Samsung App store will be the first store to offer operator billing to Indians.
According to the announcement, operator billing will be available to pre-paid as well as postpaid customers. Samsung App store users will now be able to purchase paid apps from app store, and the bill for same will either deducted from the balance (in case of pre-paid customers) or it will appear in the monthly bill (in case of post-paid customers).
Samsung App store come pre-installed on all Galaxy devices, so all owners of Galaxy devices will be able to take advantage of operator billing for app downloads.
Samsung has said that they will soon introduce the service with other telecom operators as well. Till now very few apps, that too standalone, offer operator billing in India.
Regarding the operator billing launch, Tarun Malik, Director of Media Solutions Center-South West Asia, Samsung Electronics, said, “We are excited to partner with India’s major telecom operators for this unique integration. This exclusive tie-up on Samsung App store further showcases our commitment to providing the best service experience to our customers. Given the poor credit card penetration in the country, we are positive that this move will be welcomed by customers. It is another step forward to expand our engagement with the publisher and developer community by enhancing adoption as well as monetization from the store.”
Google Play store does not have operator billing and from the looks of it, they may not launch it anytime in near future.
Given that credit card penetration is extremely low in India, operator billing becomes quite important not only from mobile users’ perspective, but from developer’s perspective as well. With operator billing, developers can take risk on introduce paid apps and in-app purchases.
Till now, mobile developers have had no other option other than to rely on mobile advertising to monetize their apps, which generally offers very little or no money. With operator billing starting to come to India, they can now think of taking more risks and introducing better quality apps as other monetization avenues open up.