Samsung to offer Telefónica direct billing in devices

The innovation arm of Spanish operator group Telefónica has announced a global direct carrier billing deal with Korean device maker Samsung. Under the terms of the agreement, Samsung will integrate BlueVia payment APIs into its handsets and tablets for Telefónica customers.

BlueVia is a set of APIs allowing app developers to interface with mobile networks. It was launched by Telefónica in August 2011, and in October 2012 Norwegian operator group Telenor became an equal partner to the API platform.

As a result of the deal, Samsung customers will be able to purchase apps and music, video, books, games and learning services from the Samsung Hub and Samsung Apps portals using the billing capability, rather than their credit or debit card.

Telefónica added the deal follows similar agreements with companies including Google, Facebook and Microsoft.

“Partnerships like this allow us to harness the power of the billing relationships we have with our customers to make it easier for them to consume content on their tablets and mobile devices,” said Wayne Thorsen, vice president of global partnerships at Telefónica Digital.

Telefónica added that the direct to bill capability on Samsung devices will be rolled out to its regional units in phases, starting with Telefónica Germany in the coming months.

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