Apple expanding carrier billing for iTunes/App Store to Russia

IMAGE DISTRIBUTED FOR APPLE - An Apple Store employee shows off a new iPhone at the iPhone 6 launch at the Eaton Centre Apple Store on Friday, September 19, 2014, in Toronto. (Photo by Ryan Emberley/Invision for Apple/AP Images)

(Photo by Ryan Emberley/Invision for Apple/AP Images)

A month after rolling out carrier billing for iTunes and App Store content with German carrier O2, CNBC reports Apple is expanding the initiative with a similar service in Russia.

The carrier billing feature allows customers to have purchases made from Apple’s iTunes and App Store charged directly to their wireless account with a local carrier. For Russia, Apple is reportedly first partnering with Amsterdam-based carrier VimpelCom for customers of its Beeline brand.

Russia-carrier-billingOn the payment information page within account settings, a user who chooses to pay by mobile now sees the following:

“Mobile phone billing is available in Russia for Beeline mobile customers. A verification will be sent to you.”

Apple is reportedly using San Francisco-based Boku to help manage the newly launched service in both Russia and Germany.  

While Apple has only recently started offering carrier billing in select markets, many carriers in the US and abroad have offered similar services for Android and other mobile platforms. Google, for example, has direct carrier billing available in over 35 countries for Android, including through AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, US Cellular, and Verizon in the US.

CNBC notes that “phone companies have commonly taken well over 10 percent, and even upwards of 30 percent” of purchases, but that Apple’s deals, according to the report, have all been for a lower, single-digit percentage.

Filed under: AAPL Company, iOS Devices Tagged: App Store, Apple, beeline, carrier billing, iPhone, iTunes, O2, Russia

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