Apple Expands iTunes Carrier Billing Initiative to Russia

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Apple has implemented a carrier billing feature that lets Russian customers purchase iTunes content like apps, movies, music, and books using a phone number, reports CNBC. Purchases made with a phone number linked to an iTunes account are then added to a user's monthly cellular telephone bill without the need for a credit card, debit card, or iTunes gift card.

For its new mobile payment initiative, Apple has teamed up with Beeline, the third largest wireless operator in Russia. Beeline's Russian site says the mobile billing feature is now available to Beeline customers in the country, with the payments powered by San Francisco-based company Boku.

Apple's partnership with Beeline comes a month after it established a similar partnership with German carrier O2. As of late October, O2 customers are also able to link a phone number to their iTunes accounts to purchase iTunes content that's added to a monthly cellular phone bill.

According to CNBC, Apple has started expanding into carrier billing due to lower carrier rates. While carriers have charged as much as 10 to 30 percent to handle transactions in the past, Apple has secured a deal with better rates "in the single digits."

Apple's carrier billing partner Boku has partnered with dozens of carriers around the globe, so it's likely Apple will continue to expand its carrier billing initiative to more countries in the future. Boku works with all of the major carriers in the United States and has established partnerships in countries like Germany, France, Korea, the UK, and more.

Article Link: Apple Expands iTunes Carrier Billing Initiative to Russia
 
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konqerror

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Dec 31, 2013
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This is likely driven by the sanction issues that hit Visa and Mastercard, followed by the Russian government forcing them to process payments through the Russian national system to avoid said disruption.

So much for Apple being the champion of human rights.
 
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ICEman-c81

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Aug 17, 2014
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This is likely driven by the sanction issues that hit Visa and Mastercard
Nah, it's because lots of people here just cash out their debit cards on pay day and either don't have a credit card or don't trust them online. Carrier billing is just there, you have money in the account anyway and it eliminates the need to go find a store with iTunes gift cards.
 

.max

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Funny thing I learn this from MacRumors. Neither popular Russian iPhone news websites nor official Beeline website have any info about this.
 

CFreymarc

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Nah, it's because lots of people here just cash out their debit cards on pay day and either don't have a credit card or don't trust them online. Carrier billing is just there, you have money in the account anyway and it eliminates the need to go find a store with iTunes gift cards.
I agree here. Easter Europe and the Russian Federation has a much higher rate of credit card fraud and much lower rate of Credit Card use than in the west. This is just good business to get customers purchasing apps. Can see this extended into South America.
 
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reden

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This is likely driven by the sanction issues that hit Visa and Mastercard, followed by the Russian government forcing them to process payments through the Russian national system to avoid said disruption.

So much for Apple being the champion of human rights.
Business doesn't care about human rights.
 

Tech198

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Mar 21, 2011
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Smart...

Everyone these says has a mobile phone, so using your mobile to charge for purchases sounds allot better.. and convenient...

Of course, i could think of other ways around this ... unless Apple could only use say mobile numbers in that country like that do verification checks, dunno if that possible with mobile numbers but would be a great loop hole :D Bring it on !!
 

vooke

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Jul 14, 2014
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this should be universal. Why would Apple hesitate introducing it in all major markets as an option?
 

ronntaylor

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It appears similar to the M-Pesa system in Kenya featured recently on 60 minutes. This could take off in Africa and India (and other developing areas) big time if Apple jumps on it. And I don't see why this can't be viable here in the USA. I'm surprised by how many that don't have a bank account and rely on mobile shops to make payments for their cell phones. The fees can't be any higher than what is charged there.