Local developers are in for a kill after Microsoft and Safaricom today introduced a service that will Windows Phone users buy apps using their airtime instead of using PayPal, mobile wallets, credit cards and other cumbersome means.
Mobile operator billing will allow users to download apps from the Windows Phone Store and make payments using their Safaricom airtime easily. This is also a new door for local app developers to monetise their apps as they will take home 70% of the revenues collected.
“One of the contributing factors to the smart phones penetration has been the uptake of mobile apps that has transformed the way we interact however, users have had challenges in accessing the apps due to limited payment options.,” Kunle Awosika, Microsoft Kenya Country Manager.
The 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.
If you are a Windows Phone user, simply go to the Windows Phone Store, select an app you want to buy and simply pay using your airtime. Some of the local apps you can buy include Daily Nation ePaper, Camera Pro+, Car Tracer, Find Me, FlashLight Elite Pro, MemoryGame, NumberTrack, Yoyo Paint, kTranslate and Pro,Paint+.
Or if you are a blogger you can get WordPress for Phone to publish and edit your stories on the go. Gaming fans can get international apps like Angry Birds Star Wars, Plants vs Zombies and others such as MetroTube, Phototastic Pro, Nextgen Reader, Runtastic PRO, SoundClouda, Podcast+ Pro, and PreSchool Essentials.
The uptake of mobile phone applications in Kenya has been greatly driven by the proliferation of smart mobile devices. In its ‘Digital Entrepreneurship in Kenya 2014’ report, the GSMA found that the potential for Kenya to become a leading hub for digital entrepreneurship is extraordinary.
Safaricom believes in supporting innovation and growing local entrepreneurs, the firm says it’s aware that a majority of Kenyan tech start-ups have challenges in developing and showcasing their apps, therefore the deal will help majority of them get paid for their work.