Two weeks after silently launching the Google Play Store carrier billing, Telkom has officially announced the partnership between itself, Google and Bango. Skip to the official press release below.
In December 2014, Telkom launched its Carrier Billing services in conjunction with Samsung and mobile payments company, Bango for the Samsung Galaxy Apps store. What this meant for customers was the ability to be able to make purchases for apps, as well as in-app purchases, which would charge directly to their postpaid bill, or prepaid airtime. This also removes the requirement to have customers provide their credit card information, something that many still have reservations about in South Africa.
Over the past week, Telkom has increased their reach with this service by quietly introducing it on Google’s Play Store as well. Although devices offering the feature are limited, many of the later Samsung smartphones seem to support it. When enabling Telkom billing from your account, Google requests users to enter their details, along with the MSISDN (phone number). Note that the number entered here is not the one for which the account will be billed, but rather that which is currently in use by the smartphone.
Customers need not be concerned, however, about accidental purchases, as all purchases are password protected* and requires double opt-in once chosen. Be sure, though, to check the credit limit on postpaid contracts provided to your kids, as this could easily increase the bill, as already observed on both iOS and Android users in recent years.
*Users can choose whether or not password is required for future purchases
Telkom, Google and Bango introduce Direct Carrier Billing for Google Play
In a South African first, customers can now securely and conveniently purchase apps and content from Google Play™ using their devices and charge it directly to their Telkom mobile bill or airtime.
Centurion, South Africa – Telkom today announced Direct Carrier Billing, an integrated carrier billing service, for Google Play™ for smartphones and tablets on Telkom’s mobile network. The service is made possible through the integration of Telkom’s Event Billing service with the Bango Payments Platform and will enable Telkom customers to buy books, applications and in-game purchases from the Google Play™ Store and charge it directly to their mobile phone bill or airtime.
Customers can also make in-app purchases, such as additional content or new levels for a gaming app, without interruption to the app experience. This “frictionless” payment experience is emerging as the preferred model for payment in app stores, enabling more consumers to access paid content, without the need for credit/debit cards or to register personal details.
To make secure purchases and payments, customers would be expected to follow the below process:
- Have a Telkom mobile SIM card in an Android device that is connected to Telkom’s mobile network;
- Open the Google Play™ Store, choose a book, app or game to buy, and select Enable Telkom Billing as a payment method;
- Confirm that this is the app, book or game that you want to buy and enjoy the world of app entertainment!
A double opt-in process is included so that customers are aware that they are purchasing an app or a game and are not surprised when their account is billed for the purchase. Details of each transaction will be itemised on customers’ invoices. Customers can also call Telkom customer care to further validate purchases.
“Telkom is striving to make our customers’ experience more streamlined and simple,” said Attila Vitai, MD of Mobile and Consumer at Telkom. “This partnership with Bango provides Telkom customers with a seamless experience of purchasing applications from Google Play™ and charging it directly to their mobile phone bill or airtime.
Telkom has partnered with mobile payment leader Bango in order to launch the service. Bango CEO Ray Anderson said: “Bango has long understood that sub-Saharan Africa is a key growth market for our frictionless payment technology. Launching the best payment experience, for the world’s most popular app store and in Africa’s largest market, is a proud milestone for both Bango and our partner Telkom SA.”