The much discussed operator billing has finally come to fruition, at-least somewhere close to us. Kenya. Airtel will enable operator billing in the two countries Nigeria and Kenya on Nokia store for applications, music and games purchase. The downloads will be paid for using mobile phone bills deducted from your pre-paid balance. Credit cards use isn’t well spread out in the region and has slowed down uptake of e-commerce as the processes consumers have to undergo are a bit hectic, with operator billing it’s a two step process that just asks you to confirm if you will pay via mobile phone airtime and it gets deducted immediately, leading to the download initialization.
This has been an ongoing conversation among consumers of how we can actually have careers boosted for developers when consumers get an easy option to pay. Currently mobile phone operators have been using this service for themselves but have not allowed third parties to plug in to the service. This is actually good news.
Nokia will also be launching Nokia Life in Kenya, a service already launched in Nigeria that delivers richly formatted SMS messages to bring relevant, timely and personalized information to consumers at a low price. The information is customized for sectors such as agriculture, education, healthcare, livelihood and spirituality.
The content brings real benefits, such as information for expectant mothers in rural areas who may not have regular access to clinics or pre-natal care. Since its launch in India, Nokia Life has expanded to several countries and has been experienced by more than 95 million people in 18 local languages. The potential for Nokia Life in Africa is enormous and, following on the success of Nigeria, Nokia and Airtel is now rolling it in the East African market, starting with Kenya.