New Delhi: Microsoft Mobile has joined hands with Idea Cellular to provide paid applications to Idea users, which will be based on operator billing on the Windows Store.
This means that subscribers will no longer need credit cards or other electronic payment options to purchase paid content.
All Microsoft Lumia devices and Windows-based smartphone users on the Idea network can avail of this offer. Users can download premier apps and games from the Windows Store and pay for them through integrated operator billing.
“This development eases a consumer's access to premium apps on Windows Store through a convenient purchase process. We are happy to be the first operator to partner with Microsoft for Windows Store and offer our consumers the ease to download a range of local and global applications without worrying about the mode of payment,” chief marketing officer of Idea Sashi Shankar said.
While post-paid customers can pay the amount on their generated bills, for pre-paid users, it would be deducted from their balance amount, the companies said, adding that this would make the payment experience more seamless, especially for those who do not own credit cards.
“Microsoft is constantly working on expanding monetisation options for developers on our platforms and this partnership is another step in that direction. With the introduction of operator billing, we have seen an increase in consumer commerce across developed and emerging markets,” Harish Vaidyanathan, Director – Evangelism at Microsoft India, said.
There are 34 million smartphone users who use the Idea network and 5.50 lakh apps available on the Windows Store.
The maximum purchase that can be made currently is Rs 300 per app. “We have set the maximum threshold right now at Rs 300 keeping in mind the safety of the consumer as well as to see that most apps are covered in that price range,” he said.
Both the companies said “operator billing is especially useful in a country like India, where the credit card culture has not yet matured and most smartphone users are either not possessing a credit card or unwilling to use them for the purpose.”
Both the companies said this was the first step and many tie-ups would follow with other device makers and operators as well.