DOCOMO Digital Partners with Vodacom to Launch the Very First Google Play Carrier Billing Integration in Tanzania

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Global mobile payments company, DOCOMO Digital has partnered with Vodacom in Tanzania to give customers in the land of Kilimanjaro the option to pay for content on the Google Play Store using “Vodacom Airtime” carrier billing.

The integration, which is powered by DOCOMO Digital’s mobile payments platform, allows Vodacom Tanzania customers to pay for content and products from the Google Play Store through their Vodacom Airtime or mobile phone bill or prepaid balance, respectively.

The service is available to more than 12 million Vodacom customers in Tanzania with an Android smartphone or tablet. From today, customers matching this criterion can purchase content and products from the Google Play Store and pay for them using Vodacom Airtime “carrier billing”.

Hiroyuki Sato, CEO of DOCOMO Digital, commented: “The African market is of key strategic importance to us and so is our partnership with Vodacom in Africa. Tanzania remains largely unbanked, with only 15% of the population managing traditional bank accounts. This means that whilst people can access online content, most of them are unable to make payments for paid features on online platforms due to the market’s low credit-card penetration. As such, carrier billing is a viable payment option for an economy that is still largely cash-based.”

Hisham Hendi, Director of Consumer Business at Vodacom, said: “Leveraging VODACOM’s superfast 4G Network, we are thrilled to announce that today’s partnership will facilitate a convenient, easy and more reliable method of payment for Google Play Store Apps to our customers. Over the years, Vodacom has made great strides by providing access with ease to social digital platforms and creating an inclusive digital ecosystem. This partnership further cements our commitment to deliver financial inclusion and provide more convenience and value to our customers.”

Mahir Sahin, Head of Africa, Android Partnerships, Google, said: “We are very excited to expand the Google Play Direct Carrier Billing partnership with Vodacom Group and launch with Vodacom Tanzania. Carrier billing is one of the key drivers for financial inclusion in the app economy in markets where most of the people are still unbanked.”

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