Vodafone says it’s the first mobile provider in Europe to offer ‘direct operator billing’ for the Android Market. This means customers will be able to buy apps and charge them to their Vodafone mobile account rather than using Google’s own payment service, which requires credit or debit card details.
Vodafone UK and Vodafone Germany are the first two networks offering the service. It’ll initially only be available to users who purchased their Android devices through Vodafone online and retail channels.
In a blog post to application developers, Vodafone said “This evolution in Android app payment greatly improves the user’s purchase experience & consequently their likelihood of completing a sale. In addition to facilitating the best possible user experience, Vodafone operator billing extends your reach to the large number of app buying customers who are unwilling or unable to use credit cards. In some countries this can be more than 90% of the market.”