Microsoft has partnered with leading Kenyan telecom Safaricom to make it possible for customers to download apps from the Windows Phone Store and make payments using their mobile phones, opening a reliable revenue channel for the developer community.
Mobile operator billing services will target the growing number of Windows-based smartphone users who previously had to pay through credit card for their applications.
“One of the contributing factors to the smartphone penetration has been the uptake of mobile apps that has transformed the way we interact however, but users have had challenges in accessing the apps due to limited payment options,” said Kunle Awosika, Microsoft Kenya country manager.
Available local apps and content that can be bought under this model include Daily Nation ePaper, Camera Pro+, Car Tracer, Find Me, FlashLight Elite Pro, MemoryGame, NumberTrack, Yoyo Paint, kTranslate and ProPaint+.
To buy an app through mobile operator billing, a user will be required to go to the Windows Phone Store and select the application they would like to buy. The consumer will then be able to see the name of the app, the price, publisher, app size and payment method clearly displayed.
Safaricom chief executive officer (CEO) Bob Collymore said: “Safaricom believes in supporting innovation and growing local entrepreneurs, we are aware that a majority of Kenyan tech startups have challenges in developing and showcasing their apps, this platform will go a long way in enhancing growth of paid-for mobile services.”