Google wants to close the gap for Android customers in emerging markets who may not be able to purchase apps with credit cards.
The company announced during it’s Google I/O conference this week that it is letting customers complete app purchases with cash in some of their participating stores.
The company has been expanding its payment offerings to include carrier billing partnerships and eWallets. Google’s new payment method for apps will come in the form of “pending transactions.” Users choose the alternative payment method at checkout when buying an app or making an in-app purchase. Then they are sent a code. Customers can then take the code to any local participating store.
“This is a new class of delayed form of payment – like cash, bank transfer and direct debit,” Google Director of Engineering Aurash Mahbod, said to a crowd during the Google I/O conference.
Customers won’t receive cash back for refunds. Instead, they will receive a credit on their accounts if they want their money back for app purchases.
Google’s latest move for its emerging market highlights a hiccup in the industries move toward cashless and peer-to-peer transactions. For the unbanked, tools that only allow debit and credit card transactions create hurdles and wider disparities.
Google hopes that by letting users pay for apps with cash, developers will see an increase in downloads for apps that are not free.