Sprint subscribers have been enjoying the ability to purchase apps on Google Play and charge them on their phone bill for a while. As planned, Sprint and Google are expanding that option so customers can now pay for all of their Google Play purchases – be they apps, music, video, or books – directly through the carrier’s monthly bill.
The carrier billing option that Google is pushing has already made its way to T-Mobile, while AT&T is set to introduce the option in the coming weeks. Verizon subscribers, on the other hand, will have to be content with just being spectators, as the Big Red doesn’t seem to be showing interest in taking part yet.
This is a step in the right direction for Google and it’s one that will be welcomed by folks who are not too pleased with the Play Store’s rather limited payment options. Obviously, not everyone is comfortable with sharing their credit card details online, not to mention the extra fees that many credit card companies are charging.
Since the carrier billing option will only be introduced to a select number of carriers and countries for now, folks outside the supported countries may wonder if Google plans to introduce gift cards, to make buying on Google Play more easily. It looks like we won’t be seeing that feature just yet. According to Google community manager Tina Patel, they have no plan to launch a Google Play gift cards program. Instead, she suggested that customers “use pre-paid [debit] cards to purchase apps, music, books, and movies on Google Play.”