Boku Strikes Deal for Carrier Billing with Google Play

May 7, 2015

Boku Strikes Deal for Carrier Billing with Google Play Carrier-billing technology provider Boku has inked its first deal with Google Play, offering one-touch payments for digital content in the Google Play store for mobile subscribers in Saudi Arabia. Android users who are customers of the Middle East mobile network Zain can now download apps, movies, music, books and games from Google Play and charge the purchase to their mobile account. The company said the Saudi Arabia deal is the first of several it is working on with Google Play to bring carrier billing to the digital content marketplace in different markets, Adam Lee, chief product officer at Boku, told

But, the U.S. will probably not be the next market where Boku enables carrier billing for Google Play. Cracking the code with U.S. consumers on carrier billing remains difficult, Lee said. Generous interchange terms in the U.S. for issuers has led those banks to offer very good deals to consumers from a rewards standpoint, making American consumers very loyal to their credit cards. But there is an opportunity among the underbanked to expand in the U.S.

“There are certain unique biases in the U.S. towards cards that the rest of the world does not have,” said Lee. “With that said, there is a lot of underbanked in the U.S., particularly among young consumers. So there is an opportunity here.”