A click on your appstore or playstore to buy an item is something new to the Lebanese subscriber. No need to enter credit card details and to have to wait for the transaction to be executed. The two MNO’s in Lebanon has recently launched their new app stores which are based on Direct Carrier Billing (DCB).
Such a move can be used to promote and support Lebanese developers/entrepreneurs. A good portion of Lebanese do have credit cards or debit cards but buying apps (costing a dollar or two) through a credit card is a hassle. Another portion does not know how to use credit cards to do online payments or is afraid to use them online for security/fraud reasons. A third portion does not know anything about this kind of technology (mobile apps) but fancies them when seeing them on others phones.
Let us face it: Lebanese like new stuff and are always hyped about something new! Now with the DCB, they can use their credit or post-pay to buy the items they want.
The new app store with direct carrier billing will help the customers:
- Eliminate the additional charges by credit cards
- Open a new range of local apps
- Make purchasing apps easier
- More confidence in buying such apps since customer care is a free call away
- Security issues cleared since the billing party is a Lebanese operator
On the other hand, the carriers are benefiting from:
- A new stream of revenue
- Strengthening their partnership ties and position
- Social responsibility image: enabling local talent
- Innovation by adding a new technology (at least that is what the customer thinks)
- Diversify their portfolio (since the appstore will be perceived as network’s own)
As for the Lebanese talents, this might be a good start:
- Ability to push their applications and feature them since the appstore won’t have hundreds of applications
- Make money from their applications & in local direct relation with MNO
- Test the grounds for their applications before publishing worldwide on apple or google’s app market
No matter how you look at it, the move by both operators seems to be a great move for all stakeholders.