Apple, Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) is offering its carrier billing service in several markets in Asia, Europe, and the Middle East. Russia closed its second carrier deal in Russia, with Megafon. Etisalat had announced on Thursday that carrier billing is available for “all your entertainment purchases.” Back in August Apple introduced carrier billing with phone companies in Saudi Arabia, Japan, Switzerland, and Taiwan.
Carrier billing allows customers to buy music, books, games, and apps that add to customers’ phone bill. So instead of using a credit card, consumers can just add these charges to their phone bill. Carrier billing is more effective in countries with less bank account and credit card penetration.
Apple is working with two of Russia’s top three mobile phone companies. Research firm Ovum believe the carrier billing industry is “poised to explode.” Carrier billing generated over $3 billion in sales globally in 2015 but is anticipated to multiply by 40 fold by 2020 to over $140 billion.