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Google-Idea Carrier Billing Goes Live in India

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Google and Idea on Thursday announced the launch of carrier billing on in India – Idea users can now pay for Google Play apps, books, music, and movies through their phone bill, or see it deducted from their balance in the case of prepaid users.

Gadgets 360 had earlier reported this story, and now, as we told you, the feature is officially live. In a blog post about the launch, Google noted that both prepaid and postpaid customers will be able to take advantage of carrier billing, enabling them to make payments without a credit or debit card.

At the launch, Google also revealed that there will be a convenience charge on purchases – on a Rs. 10 purchase, the charge will be approximately Rs. 1.50.

“This collaboration with Idea is the first time Google Play has offered direct carrier billing in India,” said Kunal Soni, head of business development, Google Play India and Southeast Asia. “We hope to make it easier for people to pay for the content they want on Google Pay. Also we hope that this will help nurture the developer ecosystem in India.”

Google also confirmed that carrier billing can be used for in-app purchases, and for all Google services, not just apps on Google Play, but also books, movies, etc.

At the launch event, Gadgets 360 also asked Google about plans to bring the option to other carriers, but the company had no updates to offer at the moment. That being said, it seems only reasonable that it will pursue the option with the other two leading carriers as well.