Microsoft and Idea Cellular have introduced operator billing on the Windows Store for Idea subscribers. This partnership will enable Idea users on all Microsoft Lumia devices as well as all Windows-based smartphones across brands to access their favourite premium apps and games from the Windows Store and pay for them through integrated operator billing. The amount will be either added to their monthly mobile phone bills or deducted from their pre-paid balance, depending on their data plans.
It is very easy for the Windows phones users to buy the content from the Windows Store. If the users wish to purchase the paid content, they will get payment option of Idea by default besides payment option via Credit Card. If the user prefer to pay through Idea on their bill then a SMS message will be sent on his registered Idea number for reconfirmation. And on getting the nod from the customer, the content purchase transaction will be completed.
According to Microsoft, Idea Cellular is the first operator in India to offer integrated operator billing on the Windows Store. Microsoft is also talking with other service providers such as Airtel and Vodafone for similar partnerships, but nothing concrete has materialised as of now. This facility will make the consumer’s payment experience more seamless and will be a boon for those who do not own credit cards or are uncomfortable using them for online transactions. Currently, there are just 19 million credit card users in India which has a population of 1.2 billion and this partnership will enable those users who are not having credit cards.
Announcing this partnership with Idea Cellular, Nikhil Mathur, Director – B2B & Operator Channels, Nokia India Sales Pvt. Ltd., a subsidiary of Microsoft Mobile Oy, said,“Microsoft’s partnership with Idea Cellular is a big step towards providing Indian consumers easy and simplified access to Windows Store content through operator billing. With smartphones becoming more affordable, adoption of mobile internet is witnessing an unprecedented growth and we are confident that this partnership will further accelerate growth for the app ecosystem with mobile internet users making a shift towards consuming premium apps and content on their devices.”
The Windows Store currently offers over 550,000 apps and enjoys a 66% YoY growth in the number of titles available with 8 billion cumulative downloads to date. Globally, Microsoft offers 81 mobile operator billing connections in 46 markets with carriers representing 2.5 billion total subscribers. Operator billing helps developers increase revenues and Microsoft claims to have witnessed an increase of 8x per month for total paid transactions in emerging markets and 3x in developed markets.