In-App carrier billing for Android announced; nobody knows if it’s ‘allowed’ though

Hello Mr Developer, would you like to use in-app payment for Android? Yes? Good.

What’s that?

You want to know if it’s allowed?

Well of course it’s allowed.

What about Google?

Well, they’re … they… they haven’t really said much about it. So when can we get you signed up?

What’s that? You want to know if Google approve of in-app carrier billing?

Why’s that a problem? Can’t you just, look just sign-up and wait and see?

What? What do you mean you can’t do business that way?

Such is the problem with having Google run it’s own mobile platform and not do it properly. I know a lot of companies who are keen to implement in-app billing, but four of them that I spoke to today will not be doing that any time soon because they simply don’t know if it’s ‘real’.

“It’s like a mirage,” said one leading mobile developer to me this afternoon, “We just don’t know if Google will allow it or change their mind in 2 months. We can’t do business like that.”

This is on the back of the rather exciting news that both Zongboku and Boku have announced in-app carrier billing for Android. Zong’s offering supports carrier billing in over 200 countries (reports TechCrunch). Zong’s got 179 carriers in 40+ countries including all the top one and two tiers in the US, (reports Moconews).

I’m pretty impressed with both offerings, I just hope that — at some point — we get a bit of clarity on whether Google well and truly allows in-app payments from other providers, or whether it will demand consumers continue to use it’s own Checkout system.

A little bit of clarity will see a lot of excitement from developers.

If you’re feeling brave, you can get started today with the Alpha Program from Boku.

(My Original Blog Post: http://ping.fm/PGAhk)

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