Airtel and Google are collaborating in enabling carrier billing for Play Store users in India. Users without a credit or debit card are allowed to purchase apps or ebooks using carrier billing. The purchases are paid through their monthly phone bills even if they are made over WiFi. Currently, this service is available in 26 countries.
Airtel is the largest carrier billing service in India. Over 40 million subscribers(12.5 million are on 3G) are using Airtel. Carrier billing for an emerging market like India makes a lot of sense, since credit card holders are currently at 2%. This allows users to pay for digital goods as part of their carrier bill. Likewise, carrier billing allows a much wider range of users to access Google’s pay services.
Airtel and Google are currently negotiating on revenue sharing. Airtel is attempting to strike a better deal by asking for as much as 90% of the revenues. The deal will be analysed by regulatory authorities once the negotiation between the two companies come to a closing and after which the services will be made official.
Google announced the launch of the first Android One devices in India last week. And deals such as this help the platform make a huge impact on emerging markets such as India. Furthermore, Google is delivering in some nice perks to make the deal even better.